According to absoluteastronomy.com, they did not say, "The British are coming!" in that most of the people receiving their words considered themselves to be British, but rather something like "The Regulars are coming out!" Though the content is accurate about the lanterns lit in the steeple of the Old North Church as a brief signal to troops in Charlestown, the words "One if by land, two if by sea" originate from Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride."
On July 4, 1776, President Gerald Ford went to Philadelphia, where both the Declaration and the Constitution were written and the Liberty Bell is kept, to deliver a ringing speech in front of Independence Hall. Here are some excerpts I find most relevant to our troubled times in 2009 and the preceding eight years:
-- - The American settlers had many, many hardships, but - - ---- -they had more- liberty than any other people on Earth.
-That purpose [of the Declaration] is to secure the rights of the- individuals against even government itself. But the Declaration- did not tell us how to accomplish this purpose or what kind- of government to set up.-
[B]ut the struggle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-is never truly won. Each generation of Americans, indeed -of all humanity, must strive to achieve these aspirations anew.
--We must increase the independence of the individual and the- opportunity of all Americans to attain their full potential. -[all quotes taken from text of speech, fordlibrary.gov]
The late Tony Snow, Bush 43's press secretary and prior to that a Fox News anchor, claimed that Thanksgiving is the real Independence Day. This is what he said on November 22, 2004:
Thanksgiving is America's defining holiday. The - --people who sailed- to our rough and forbidding shores wanted to lay claim not just[to] cliffs of stone and forested wilderness. They pursued an idea:A republic that would secure liberty by venerating virtue -or to put it in less highfalutin terms, a place where people could do what they wanted because they could trust their neighbors.-[from tonysnow.blogspot.com]
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