Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."
John Adams on celebrating Independence Day:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations (fireworks) from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
“The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history — the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny,” he declared. “Cling to this day — cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.”