I unfurl my flag with thanks to God for the blessings of this country. While posting Old Glory, I pray for my neighbors who will see the Stars and Stripes flying from my porch post; and I pray for everyone everywhere.
On this Independence Day, I prayed with special thanks for those who declared independence on July 4th, 1776 and worked to secure our freedoms in the years that followed. Two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence died on the 50th anniversary of that occasion within hours of one another. Both men were friends, then became political enemies. Each one served as president: first John Adams, then Thomas Jefferson. I am inspired by the fact they became friends again. The letters they wrote to one another in their later years reveal the hearts of two patriots who cared for their nation, and learned how to care for one another again.
The historian, David McCullough, writes in his biography of John Adams, that the American citizens in the eighteen hundreds did not see the July 4th deaths of Jefferson and Adams as a mere coincidence. They considered this a "visible and palpable" manifestation of "Divine favor." When Daniel Webster was giving a speech in Boston, he suggested that the deaths of Jefferson and Adams on the Fourth of July was a sign from on high, "that our country, and its benefactors, are objects of His care."
It seems to me that we who live in the "expanded greatness and consolidated strength of a pure republic," would do well to find the same peacemaking and conciliatory spirit that the mature Adams and Jefferson regained in their dying days. This is also something for which I pray when I post my flag.