The ‘Following Days’ After the Fourth of July

Richard Olivastro
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Posted: Jul 07, 2009 9:36 PM

It was July 8, 1776. Founder Samuel Adams had just heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud in public for the first time.

As described in a 1976 narrative by renowned journalist Charles Kuralt, "Samuel Adams was celebrating inside himself…”.

But, despite his excitement, Samuel Adams understood what likely lay ahead for his countrymen.

As he walked back to his rooming house, Adams knew what he had to do next.

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We are now just days into the 234th year of the United States of America having, over the past weekend, celebrated the Fourth of July birth of our country with fireworks, parades, cookouts, and beverages - perhaps, even a bottle of brew branded Samuel Adams.

Back then, these precious ‘following days’ were days of personal decision for many.

In reality, the same remains the case for today’s patriots,

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As delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 56 patriots - including Samuel Adams – would vote to approve the document known as the Declaration of Independence.

Then, as noted here last week (Let Freedom Ring – Again) each of those patriots would, in turn, dare “to pick up pen, dip it in their personal well of courage”, and sign the Declaration during the ‘following days’ of July and August, 1776.

Which begs the question, ‘How many Americans today would dare sign the Declaration during these ‘following days’ of July and August, 2009’?

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The late television newsman Charles Kuralt retold the story this way, “Having walked back to his boarding house… (Adams) took up a bundle of letters he had received from friends and patriots down (through) the years.”

“These were letters which might hang those friends now, if they ever fell into the hands of the British." Inside his rooming house "… Adams spent a long time with a pair of scissors… snipping those letters into tiny bits.”

Then, rather than burn or bury the missive private words of fellow patriots, Adams “opened his second-story window… so he could look down on the chaos in the street below”.

Savoring the sights and sounds of the freedom revelry below, Samuel Adams, “… quite thoughtfully and quietly, he let those little bits of paper fly by the handsful”.

“… and fluttered down on the celebration--confetti for a new nation.”

“Then quite tired and quite satisfied, Sam Adams closed the window and went to sleep.”

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Kuralt ended his Fourth of July narrative saying, “Maybe we don't need fireworks. Maybe some small private act of celebration is enough."

Perhaps, like Samuel Adams before, many Americans understand what may lie ahead.

And, perhaps, many know that one action they can do next is to - go online now – in order to proclaim their support for the self-evident truths and principles inherent in our country’s founding by signing the Declaration of Independence. CLICK HERE

Paraphrasing Mr. Kuralt, let’s hope that, maybe, such a small private act of declaration by individual American Citizens during these ‘following days’ will be enough.

[Columnist Note: The Charles Kuralt narrative record is sourced from the outstanding work done by compilation researcher James R. Heintze, American University, Washington DC]