Musing on the 4th of July

The official temperature today is 92 degrees F, but the “RealFeel” is 106 degrees. It’s very humid and thunderstorms are predicted (65% chance). We were outside briefly this morning (along with thousands of tourists heading for the southeastern North Carolina beaches), but we’ve lowered the air temperature in the condo and plan to stay in the remainder of the day.

We’re expecting friends to come here this evening in hopes of seeing some of the higher fireworks put on in downtown Wilmington about eight miles north—from our back porch we have a clear view across a large marsh and a few miles up the Cape Fear River, but dense pine forests prevent low-level sights much farther. They may not want to venture out in this heat.

Barb has been watching movies on her Tablet and I’ve been reading the weekend addition of the Wall Street Journal kindly dropped at our front door by upstairs neighbors.

On this day each year I read from a copy of The Declaration of Independence finalized in Congress in 1776, 240 years ago. It was unanimously signed by representatives of “all thirteen united States of America.” My home State of Pennsylvania had the most signers: nine; Virginia had the next highest number: seven—two of them ancestors of Gen. Robert E. Lee who, 85 years later, fought another war for American States’ independence.

I read this vital document to remind me of what these brave patriots did for freedom: they risked their reputations, property and lives to stand against oppressive governments. Many of them suffered greatly from daring to fight powerful, tyrannical enemies.

In the second Declaration paragraph the Founders explained what it was about. They wrote that we are all “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” among them are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.

And, again, it has come to pass that “WE THE PEOPLE” are controlled by a corrupt central government. Unfortunately, we don’t have modern leaders with the wisdom and fortitude to stand against the evils that plot against us. But many of us have historic roots from which to draw strength and faith that can sustain our efforts to overcome the totalitarians who threaten our lives, liberty and property.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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