One hundred years ago, the editor of “The Centennial Post” penned words which still ring true today. In the July 4, 1914 issue of the Centennial weekly newspaper, Herman M. Porter wrote the following inspirational column, which I pray will make us all pause and reflect on what Independence Day really means yet today. – D.P.
The Editor’s Column
By Herman M. Porter
Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, the birth of the flag we all love and the inception of the greatest nation on the face of the earth. It took courage for our forefathers to sign that declaration in absolute defiance of King George, the sovereign of the world at that time, and still more courage to endure the struggle, which terminated in making this a free and independent nation.
The Fourth of July, when we think for what it stands, is a solemn occasion. It is more than a day on which to gaily make merry, though we have ample cause to rejoice.
We of this day can have but little conception of the terrors surrounding that wee band of patriots which dared defy the authority of the British Lion, steadfastly giving not only their time, their fortunes, but their lives, for the perpetuation of the truth that all men are born equal and are entitled to political and religious freedom.
Looking at the map of the original 13 colonies, upon which fell the solemn duty of freeing themselves from the oppression of the crown and creating a land where all people could, untrammeled, enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” we see they are only a mere corner of this now glorious nation. From the acorn springs the mighty oak, and as a result of this mere handful of staunch-hearted patriots – the unprotected coast on one side and an unexplored wilderness full of wild beasts and hostile red men on the other – so valiantly braving the vicissitudes of that perilous time, we see the America of today.
Staunch hearts and true braved unknown terrors in the laying of the foundation of this mighty “Land of the free and home of the brave,” so let us pause in our light-hearted, care-free celebration of the day long enough to reverently thank a merciful God that such an institution was permitted to be born and humbly breathe a prayer that this freeman’s land may ever be thus and that generations for all time may be permitted to salute Old Glory not only on this but every other day, with full appreciation of the trials and hardships their ancestors withstood all along the line to hand it down to them grand, unsullied the emblem of unchallenged liberty.