This Week in Orange County June 28 2012Jun 28th, 2012 | By HV Insider | Category: Lifestyle
Common lore is that on July 4, 1776, Britain’s King George III wrote in his journal “nothing of importance happened today.” Little did he know how wrong he was as the world as he knew it was undergoing profound change an ocean away. On that very same day in the American colonies, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence – announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain.
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence is one of Jefferson’s enduring legacies and the foundation on which the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans have been built. In simple, but eloquent, language, he asserted the basic truths that formed our nation and continue to guide us 236 years later. On that fateful day more than two centuries ago, 55 representatives in General Congress joined with Mr. Jefferson to declare “that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States …”
In less than 1,500 words they set forth their grievances with the King, declared the self-evident truths – that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – and changed the world forever. The Declaration of Independence marked an important beginning in our nation and our County’s history. Orange County played a significant role in the ensuing American Revolution. General George Washington set up headquarters in Newburgh. Hundreds of soldiers camped in New Windsor. The Purple Heart, then given for meritorious service, was first presented in Orange County. Our County is indeed rich with history.
The County Historian, Ms. Cornelia Bush, would also like to share that this summer marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. While the official start of the war was June 1812, the British had been engaging our ships at sea and impressing our citizens to serve in the Royal Navy. This war, a continuation of the American Revolution, lasted for several years and included naval battles up and down our eastern coastline. Ms. Bush points out that this war, helped our fledgling nation learn to take command of the sea and defined who we were going to be – a proud and mighty nation, protected by our military strength.
Throughout our nation’s history, we have been tested by foreign powers. Together, we have held strong, reaffirming our legacy and proud patriotism time and again.
Many historic sites throughout Orange County will be hosting special events over the next week to mark the 236th American Independence Day and the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812 throughout the year. To find out more, visit the Orange County Historian’s calendar on the County website at www.orangecountygov.com.
Happy Independence Day – God Bless America!
Until next week, wishing you good health and happiness,
Edward A. Diana