Independence Day Our National Holiday

By Rep. Mike Sanders

Cookouts; parades; children eating hotdogs; fireworks; red, white, and blue; patriotism – these are some of the things I think about when celebrating the Fourth of July. 

I also think about the bravery of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. That hot summer day in 1776 in Philadelphia, they declared our independence from the British Empire. Imagine that … 56 men signed their names to a document letting the world know we would fight and face possible death to be free. 

In our daily routines, we often overlook the freedoms we have as Americans. We enjoy the Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition our government and much more. This Fourth of July I ask that you reflect on the freedoms we have in our country. As you attend a family BBQ or enjoy a day at the lake with friends or simply sit at home and relax, take a moment to remember the courage of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

We all know John Hancock signed the declaration with a rather large signature. His signature may be the most famous signature in our history. Legend has it; Mr. Hancock signed the way he did to make sure his defiance to the king was known. Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson are a few of the signers. We learned their names and place in our history in grade school, but how many can we remember today?  Take Caesar Rodney, for example, a man who received no formal education and whose father died when he was just 17, but he rose to serve the colony of Delaware and later as a military leader in the colonial militia. Or perhaps Richard Stockton, a man imprisoned and starved by the British for supporting the war. He later died from poor health, likely a result of his sacrifice for this nation.

This Fourth of July take time to learn about a few of the other brave souls who risked their lives for our country’s freedom.

Here is a list of the brave signers.

John Adams, Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Carter Braxton, Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, Abraham Clark, George Clymer, William Ellery, William Floyd, Benjamin Franklin, Elbridge Gerry, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, John Hancock, Benjamin Harrison, John Hart, Joseph Hewes, Thomas Heyward, Jr., William Hooper, Stephen Hopkins, Francis Hopkinson, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Thomas McKean, Arthur Middleton, Lewis Morris, Robert Morris, John Morton, Thomas Nelson, Jr., William Paca, Robert Treat Paine, John Penn, George Read, Caesar Rodney, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, Edward Rutledge, Roger Sherman, James Smith, Richard Stockton, Thomas Stone, George Taylor, Matthew Thornton, George Walton, William Whipple, William Williams, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, George Wythe

Happy Fourth! Happy Independence Day! Happy birthday, America!

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