7/4/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
For far too many, July 4th is nothing more than the 4th of July — a day to skip work, grill hot dogs and watch fireworks.
But the fourth day of the seventh month of each year is so much more. It’s one of the most patriotic days of the calendar year. It’s a celebration of the risk taken to free America from tyrannical rule by a far-away government. It is our Independence Day.
As our country continues the epic tug-of-war over our national sovereignty, it is important to remember, our founding fathers risked everything to have borders of our own — borders that need protecting.
Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) has an appropriate view on Independence Day.
“As citizens of this great country, we inherit a unique form of governing, and Our Founders entrusted us with its future,” Rep. Sirocki said. “If we, as Americans, don’t understand the importance of the Rule of Law, decentralized government, self-governance, and liberty, how can we value and protect our constitutional republic?”
Matt Stone is a Senate Candidate challenging radical Leftist Sen. Shenna Bellows in the Senate District 14 race in the 2018 Midterms. Stone worries the meaning of Independence Day may be fading from people’s memories — and it may be intentional.
“Those of us descended from the founding stock of America take particular pride in the commemoration of Independence Day as it is the moment that our ancestors asserted themselves as a new people, distinct and separate from those back in their mother country,” Stone said. “Sadly, this history has been rewritten by subversive elements in our society to overemphasize America’s founding as one based on a set of ideals or values. The truth is America exists because men fought and died for the safety and posterity of their families and homeland. They did not sacrifice themselves for mere abstractions like “freedom” or “democracy.” This Independence Day, let’s honor our ancestors by reviving the idea of an America for Americans.”
Rep. Karen Gerrish (R-Lebanon), had a fun tactic to ensure her students understood the meaning and importance of Independence Day.
“I was raised to have respect and love of my country. I grew up feeling and understanding patriotism and realizing how fortunate I was to live in this great nation,” Rep. Gerrish said. “Independence Day is my second favorite holiday, next to Christmas. As I got older and began a career teaching, I was able to celebrate the 4th more than once a year. I would celebrate it in July and also with my approximately 100 fifth graders when we studied the Revolutionary War in the early spring.”
But her time in the classroom taught her a lesson about students’ understanding of the holiday.
“What I learned almost two-plus decades ago was that these kids absolutely didn’t know the stories of the birth of the United States as I did,” Rep. Gerrish said. “I recall introducing the unit each year almost in a storytelling mode and year-after-year I could hear a pin drop as I told the remarkable stories of determination and survival against all odds.”
Fortunately, Rep. Gerrish found she had a captivated audience.
“My students were like sponges hearing about how our nation came to be, and we weren’t reading it from a boring text,” Rep. Gerrish said. “We were talking about it and looking at online photographs. It was obvious these kids didn’t know about the hardships General George Washington and militia had to contend with, nor did they comprehend the level of perseverance all in the name of independence and liberty from Great Britain. They didn’t know about the tea party or the Boston Massacre, important generals of the battles, the Proclamation of 1763 or even the women who played important roles in our nation’s freedom. We talk about all of it, and they are in simple awe.”
And that’s when she designed a fun Independence Day project for her students.
“They enjoy an online scavenger hunt all about the Revolution,” Rep. Gerrish said. “I consider it my contribution in a small way to America’s youth.”
Former Senior Legislative Advisor to Gov. Paul LePage and current write-in candidate in the Gubernatorial contest, Aaron Chadbourne believes it’s important to remember what our founders were up against.
“The revolutionaries were willing to sacrifice everything — their reputations, their fortunes, even their lives because they believed God called them to be free,” Chadbourne said. “We rarely see courage like that anymore, and Independence Day reminds us of the values, as well as the sacrifice of blood and treasure, which created this country, so that we too can be free. It is the one day that everyone can –hopefully — set aside our differences and give thanks that we are Americans.
Rep. Beth O’Connor (R-Berwick), shares Chadbourne’s acknowledgment of the patriots who fought for our freedom.
“Independence Day is truly a day that all Americans should hold their heads high and recognize the incredible risks that the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence took,” Rep. O’Connor said. “These men, from all walks of life, pledged their lives, their liberty and their sacred honor to deliver to all of us — and our posterity — freedom from the tyranny of King George and his oppressive rule. They delivered a system of government that ensures that the individual, the smallest minority, will always stand supreme in the eyes of the law.”
And she makes a point to remember these acts of bravery.
“Every Independence Day, I reflect on these 56 men and their wisdom and their courage,” Rep. O’Connor said. “I will forever and with my last breaths share my respect for their incredible sacrifices with my own posterity and hope they pass it on to theirs. And if we are really lucky, it will be around a barbeque pit with a couple of beers and good company.”
Enjoying some tasty barbeque and brew with family and friends, as Rep. O’Connor likes to do, is one of the great Independence Day traditions.
Of course, another is watching beautiful pyrotechnic displays filling our nation’s skies. As Matt Stone puts it, “Maine is a special place to take in the spirit of America.”
Aaron Chadbourne plans on watching fireworks with fellow Mainers. He is hosting a pre-fireworks champagne/sparkling cider toast on Eastern Promenade from 7-9pm, and YOU’RE INVITED. He asks anyone who’s interested in attending to email him at [email protected].
Chadbourne also told Maine First Media about his family’s Independence Day tradition, an annual event he remembers vividly to this day.
“The Chadbourne family has always gathered around the pool for the 4th and celebrated with family,” Chadbourne said. “We used to go to my Great Aunt Mary (Chadbourne) Bagley’s house in Waterboro where she made the best cinnamon rolls. When she retired and moved to Arizona, my parents picked up the tradition, and now we celebrate at their house in Gorham.”
Meanwhile, two Maine-first public servants — Rep. Sirocki, and Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) — share a very meaningful tradition and encourage patriotic Mainers to join them.
“On the 4th of July, I encourage everyone to start their day by re-reading the Declaration of Independence and taking a moment to pray for our country,” Rep. Sirocki said. “Then I encourage everyone to enjoy the traditions of gathering with family and friends, enjoying parades, and watching fireworks celebrations.”
The always eloquent fighter, Rep. Lockman believes now — more than ever — Americans need to reflect upon the Declaration of Independence and for all it stands.
“We live in dangerous times,” Rep. Lockman said. “The individual rights secured in the U.S. Constitution — in particular the First and Second Amendments — are under a coordinated assault, growing more intense with each passing day. Now more than ever, all of us who put America first and want to preserve and protect American exceptionalism need to stay grounded in the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence.”
Rep. Lockman suggests reading our Declaration of Independence aloud and truly listening to the brilliant words of Thomas Jefferson.
“On the annual observance of Independence Day, it’s important for all of us who love liberty to actually re-read this revolutionary document,” Rep. Lockman said. “For the first time in human history, a government was formed with the understanding that individual rights don’t come from government, they come from God. Our rights to life, liberty, and property are in fact inalienable — meaning that they can’t be taken away or even voluntarily transferred. Today is the day we celebrate that unprecedented, courageous, revolutionary declaration. Many of those who signed paid a heavy price for their open rebellion against the tyrant monarch. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants.”