July 4th, also known as Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the Declaration of Independence that was adopted on July 4, 1776. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, the fourth of July is celebrated each year as the official birth of American Independence.
The Fourth of July marks the day the United States became its own nation. In June 1776, the Continental Congress met where Virginia statesman Richard Henry Lee proposed a motion for the colonies to declare independence from Britain. A committee was formed to draft an official independence document, known as the Declaration of Independence. On July 2, 1776, Lee’s motion for independence was approved and on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted—and America became a free nation from Great Britain.
Fourth of July traditions include illuminating the sky through grand exhibitions of fireworks, watching festive parades, and celebrating with loved ones. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.
We recognize that July 4th is a holiday that celebrates our country’s freedom and independence from Great Britain, and we also recognize that during this time, many Americans were not completely free.
As we celebrate this holiday, we remember that freedom and independence are not just privileges, but rights that many people in our country have fought for and died for. We must continue to advocate and push for impactful change that supports – and not limits — freedom and independence for all.