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JULY 4, 2002


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Often called the birthplace of our nation. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, the Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781 and the Constitution was adopted in 1787.


The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated, wealthy men  - lawyers, merchants, plantation owners. Knowing that the penalty would be death if they were captured, they nevertheless  pledged: For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
Nine of these men fought in the Revolutionary War and died from wounds or hardships, five were captured by the British as traitors.  Two of them lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army and two had sons who were captured. Twelve lost their homes and possessions and died in poverty.


The Minuteman Monument stands on the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The Concord Hymn was composed by Ralph Waldo Emerson for its dedication, July 4, 1837.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.


>You will experience a renewed sense of patriotism as you read Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Yankee Doodle went to London
Riding on a pony.
Stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle Dandy;
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

Yankee Doodle was not calling a feather pasta. Macaroni was a reference to a fancy dressing Italian (a dandy) - a style which was widely imitated in England at the time. The English regarded most colonials as country bumpkins but the colonists adopted the song to mock the British.


The Revolutionary War was fought and won by common people - farmers, storekeepers, clerks, along with their wives and daughters. Betsy Ross is honored for her contribution to our country's flag, but many women bore the hardship of battle alongside their husbands. Such a one is Molly Pitcher

The nickname Molly Pitcher is associated with both Mary Hays and Margaret Corbin, for carrying pitchers of water to the thirsty soldiers on the battlefield. Both women are honored for bravery under fire when they manned the cannons after their husbands were killed or wounded.

But the title Molly Pitcher should be awarded to all those heroic women whose dedication and courage contributed to the struggle for freedom and liberty.


Excerpts from the speech by PATRICK HENRY to the Virginia Legislature March 23, 1775.
We shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations........ The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave....... Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!...... Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


NATHAN HALE - Patriot, martyr
At 21 years old, Capt. Hale was captured as a spy by the British in Sept. 1776. Without a trial, Gen. Howe ordered that he be hanged. At his execution, he asked for a Bible but was refused. He faced death with dignity, uttering these last words: I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.


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