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Celebrating Independence According to John Adams

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Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer

On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote these words to his wife Abigail after the nation’s independence had been declared.

“But the day is past. The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha, in the history of America.”

Adams became the second president of the United States in 1797 and served one term.  Until his death July 4, 1826, he lived peacefully on his farm in Quincy, Massachusetts and observed five decades of independence. Even today over two centuries later, Adam’s letter reminds all of “the cost in blood, toil and treasure to maintain this declaration.”

“Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.”

Regent University associate professor of history Dr. Josh McMullen said, “He’s looking at it from the birth of this nation it’s still in it’s infant stage. He’s confident in the idea of America, he’s confidant in the exceptionalism of America, he’s confidant in the providence of God.”

“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.” 

Dr. Josh McMullen continued, “But there is also another part to the letter that says we need to pause on the 4th of July, we need to think about the immensity of what we’re celebrating and uniqueness of the country of this great American experiment.”

Today, America is celebrating another year of independence.

In Washington D.C., Garden State Fireworks is lighting up the skies above the nation’s capital with another award winning aerial display. Light show choreographer, Chris Santore.

“We’re working some long hours, lifting heavy equipment, I mean mortar racks could weigh 70 to 100 pounds. Getting equipment in place, getting everything set, to deliver that vision from the page to the sky, it’s labor intensive. But it’s worth it. When you get that rock star 20 minutes of the sky is rocking and the crowd is all into it, it reminds you of why you do it.”

Soon after arriving to the United States in 1890, Augustine Santore opened his first fireworks plant in New Jersey.

“We keep a lot of the crazy Italian tradition of making these massive multi break shells some of them weighing up to one hundred pounds,” said Chris Santore.

For over 120 years, this family-run business remains the oldest and largest American manufacturer of display fireworks.

“So many things come together from the ground up producing a musically choreographed display you have to have a very multi faceted, talented group of people,” said Chris.

Unlike the nation’s early observances, today’s can be highly technical. Still, all accomplish John Adams’ vision of how the Fourth of July should be celebrated.

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

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