This is 3rd in our series on Independence Day. Today, a quote from John Quincy Adams. Look for a forthcoming workbook on civics from upper elementary and junior high students.
Why is it, friends and fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering upon the 62nd year of our national experience,e you have honored with an invitation to address you from this place a fellow citizen of a former age, bearing in the records of his memory the warm and vivid affection which attached him – at the distance of a full half century – to your town and to you forefathers, then the cherished associated of his youthful days? Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, you most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? And why is it that among the swarming myriads of our population thousand and tens of thousand among us …yet united with all their brethren of this community year after year in celebration his, the birthday of the nation?
Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? –that it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is is not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? – that it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christian and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?
Oration by John Quincy Adams, 1837.
Why is the Declaration of Independence so very important according to John Quincy Adams? Why is is important that we celebrate it. How might we apply this today?
Next time, let’s see what he said were the aims of the Declaration — and why his view is so compelling.