In 1776, upon the approval of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, saying:
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. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Tonight my husband and I will be going to a friend's home for a party and for fireworks. I'm sure it will be lovely!
Those men and women now serving overseas don't have the luxury of celebrating today with their loved ones. To all of our troops and to their families, please accept my thanks for all you do.
Happy Birthday, America!