We are going to forego the military quote as there are WAY too many to include about today, so instead, we're taking a gander at the holiday itself.
There are many people out there (you readers not being inclusive of that crowd) who believe that the 4th of July marked the END of our war for independence. It was more like the FIRST SHOT instead.
The Revolutionary War REALLY began (at Concord) in 1775 and ended in 1783.
Yes, Virginia, there's a WIKI for THAT, too:
ONLY cost $37 million at the national level and $114 at the combined state level.
The Brits spent 80 million Pounds (sterling) and the French 1.3 BILLION Livres (about 56 million pounds sterling).
What sets US apart from other wars for independence, is that ours ACTUALLY SUCCEEDED, and our nation GREW and expanded outward, as opposed to other nations that became fractured by in-fighting from rival factions after their wars had ended.
Our economy and trade grew and thrived - other nations...not so much.
Our population set about expanding the boundaries of our nation.
All of it was due to the fact that WE (back then) wanted to be FREE FROM TYRANNY and OPPRESSION from what the colonials believed to be an unjust government, bent on control and domination of a people wanting to set their OWN course and live their OWN life here in America.
And, as they say: "We done good...we done REAL good".
-- Here, at this website is the COMPLETE text of what was included in the Declaration of Independence, and I would take a read on it, as it speaks to WHY America had to extricate itself from the ever-tightening grasp of England:
CONSTITUTION addressed ALL these issues, and provided for the people in these matters.
At THAT time, there were NO celebratory gatherings...this was all done "behind closed doors", as it were.
Any REAL commemoration came a year later in 1777 in Bristol, Rhode Island - the first documented account.
In 1778, General George Washington marked the day with a DOUBLE ration of RUM for the troops.
And the rest, as they say...IS history.
-- Celebrations only GREW with time.
The 4th was really an UNPAID federal holiday until 1938, when Congress decided to change that to a PAID day off.
Today is usually spent setting off consumer fireworks, watching professional displays of fireworks, singing patriotic songs (BTW, the song "THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND" has some progressive-socialist terms included in it...just wanted you to know that Woody Guthrie was okay with that)
STAR-SPANGLED BANNER (derived from a 17th century British Antecreontic Society - a men's "social club"...I heard it was a PUB song...same thing?) and MY COUNTRY 'TIS OF THEE (derived from the British melody GOD SAVE THE QUEEN) are two favorites.
We even do THEIR songs prouder...sure glad we decided to "break away".
I think in some ways , we, as the people of AMERICA, have lost touch with what the REAL meaning is...
We're often too occupied elsewhere, doing the cookouts, and the fireworks, and hitting sales at stores to even concern ourselves of the SCOPE of what transpired 236 years ago today...it was a pretty big deal back then, and what was accomplished by these brave men echoes today...if we stop to listen.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Think of the sheer POWER of that one sentence...what is being stated, and HOW it is presented.
Look at the words THEY capitalized...especially the word CREATOR...the acknowledgement that there was (and still is) a HIGHER POWER to which we ALL answer to, and it's not J.C. Penney...or Kingsford.
There truly is power in the blood, and certainly power in the written word, as evidenced here...and then, all those 236 years ago.
Take some time to get to KNOW your Declaration of Independence...why YOU enjoy all that you do, and know that if not for a few score of brave and uncompromising patriots in a fledgling colony, things for us would be a LOT different today.
We call that being APPRECIATIVE...and HUMBLE.
SAFE out there, America.