Jul. 2—THUMBS UP to everyone celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend.
Sunday marks 245 years since the birth of our nation and we should all take a moment to celebrate our nation's independence.
Our community will join in the festivities — Hartshorne's annual Blue Mountain Festival Annual Street Dance and Cornhole Tournament is Friday night, Choctaw Nation's Boom in the Valley is Friday night, McAlester's Stars and Stripes Fireworks Show at the Expo Center is set for dusk on Sunday.
Lots more will be happening with families gathering and surrounding communities putting on festivities to celebrate our nation's independence.
But we should also take a moment to remember how we got here.
Independence Day became an American federal holiday in 1941, but the tradition dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.
The Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776 — and two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence.
The historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted on July 4, 1776 is still celebrated today as the birth of our nation with parades, fireworks, concerts and more.
"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," the preamble to the Declaration of Independence states.
While the authors and founders did not apply that statement to all people at the time — the words are powerful and remind us of the principles in which we should all work toward.
Initial battles in the Revolutionary War started in April 1775 with few colonists wanting complete independence from Great Britain — but more colonists favored independence and hostility toward Britain grew by the following year.
Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House on June 7, 1776, and Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence.
Congress voted almost unanimously on July 2 to approve the motion and adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4.
It was through unity in a cause that our country broke from Great Britain.
So let's celebrate — safely — together this weekend with family, friends and neighbors because we are better together.
—McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board