First of all, South Boston Online wishes you Independence Day celebrations that are really enjoyable and memorable. Please have yourself a great Holiday.
A few facts and figures: In 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted America’s final Declaration of Independence, making some last changes and adjustments. This document was completed on July 4 that year. Our Independence and the Declaration itself had been authorized a couple of days before the Fourth – 243 years ago. The final version of the Declaration of Independence was approved, and then it was copied and sent out to the 13 colonies, where it was read to the eagerly awaiting public. That custom continues down to this year of 2019. The Declaration of Independence will be read from the balcony of the Old State House at mid-morning this Thursday, July 4.
American history has been filled with events that have had great impact. In the 1800s, our Civil War began only 85 years after the Declaration of Independence was first put forth. We fought for the cause of freedom in two World Wars during the 1900s (the so-called “American Century”); we have since occupied a position of world leadership. As Americans, we seem to have a lot of issues facing us these days. But as a nation, we have endured far more difficult times than anything happening at this moment – especially all that silliness now occurring in our nation’s capital.
Please use this year’s Independence Day as a day to celebrate. Use it as a day with meaningful observances as well. South Boston Online strongly suggests that you plan to attend the City of Boston’s Official Independence Day Commemoration. This begins Thursday morning, the Fourth, with a Flag Raising and a Parade at 9 a.m. on City Hall Plaza. The Parade will proceed down Tremont to the Old Granary Burial Ground for a Laying of Wreaths. It will then go up Washington Street to the Old State House, at the spot on the Freedom Trail where the Boston Massacre occurred in 1770. A full reading of the Declaration of Independence from the Old State House balcony will follow, just as it did on Thursday morning, July 18, 1776.
If you have a family, bring your children. They may object, but if you tell them about The Declaration of Independence, they will remember the Day. And do you know how long it takes to read the entire Declaration of Independence? From “When in the Course of human events …” through its last line, “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and out sacred Honor” takes just ten minutes. Yes, only ten minutes! And please remember: after that short, ten-minute document we call our “Declaration of Independence” was put into effect, the world changed. Changed for good! Forever!
South Boston Online would also like to suggest that we begin a patriotic project here in South Boston. Despite our high regard for our veterans, we do not have a commemorative monument to the veterans of World War I, a conflict with American casualties that totaled 117,000 – 103 of these casualties were from South Boston, including the redoubtable Michael “Mickey” Perkins.
Perhaps you know that a Commission was set up years ago in Washington, DC, to build a national Memorial to the American casualties in World War I. It has taken them years just to select a site; it is not yet fully funded. Its target date is now in 2021 – 105 years after we entered the War; 103 years after the War ended. That’s a bureaucratic disgrace.
We fought in World War I only for the cause of freedom – the same motivation that led us to our own Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July, 1776. We did not fight for gain. World War I wasn’t even on our own land. We were helping our allies in Europe preserve their independence, and to stay free from the Kaiser’s domination.
Let’s see if South Boston can show Washington a thing (or two) about Memorials.