In the Beginning

Americans owed the celebration of the 4th of July to a printer. That was how important newspapers and the printed word were to this country. The PRINTED word. The Declaration of Independence kept in the National Archives in Washington. The one with the 57 signatures. Composed on July 2nd, with a decision to make the declaration known to the public. After the delegates gave the agreed on statement to a printer, those lamentations to King George, the force of publication of this declaration had carried the July 4th date.

Americans owed the celebration of the 4th of July to a printer. To believe that a nation came into being on a particular day in 1776 is to ignore all that had gone in the past. The past wrongdoing. Conveying a belief of a need to amend wrongdoing, there was this Declaration of Independence signed, sealed but not really delivered. To King George.

Wrongdoing. Conveying a belief. In order to form a more perfect uinon, people came together because of wrongdoing. The United States was all about fairness. “Unalienable” rights. Once upon a time there was such a strong belief in the need to safeguard a unity, about what I called inalienable rights. Just printed.

Peter de Bolla writes today in the L.A. Times about an architecture of belief which had the power to change the world. May it also be remembered that the act of declaration in 1776 that created, founded, and continues to create a nation was based more on the action behind the words. Nowadays the world does not need more words. Rather it needs the resolve that went behind the words of the Declaration of Independence.

“Self-evident” truth. As to those signatures of people who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, there were added later signatures of men who had not even been in the room on July 2nd. Maybe truth that had not been so apparent to be self-evident that day. New congressional delegates whose signatures were added later, once there was a Congress.

Ah, politicians and the bandwagon affect! Independence Day had never been a declared federal holiday by Congress until 1941.

Peter de Bolla wrote, as the Colonies were at war in 1777, a small and very low-key celebration was mounted, the members of the Continental Congress did decide to note July 4 by not meeting, and everyone went to church.

A toast! To the newscopy just printed. To a free press. By those who searched for the truth. Heroic as any soldier. A toast to those conveying a belief in the ideals of government. The ones which shall not perish from the earth. Facts now presented to be read as “self-evident” truth. And actually purchased by some “of the people,” for fifty cents. A toast! To the ideals of the people, by the people, for the people. A toast to those who pledged their careers, lives, fortunes and sacred honor, with high resolve that the ideals of the nation which have always been here – and that the people under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that the ideals of government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It has never been more difficult on these shores to be a worker in the news business than in 2009. Americans owed this celebration of the 4th of July to a printer, who posted a date of the printing. This holiday was all about what had gone on in one moment in time, two days before.


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