"These United Colonies Are, And Of Right Ought To Be, Free And Independent States"

Today is the day that John Adams wrote would be our national day. For good reason. Today was the day in 1776 that the Continental Congress passed a certain Virginian's resolution declaring independence from Great Britain. Not Thomas Jefferson. Richard Henry Lee. This resolution broke the bonds with the mother country. It was incorporated into the document that stated the reasons for our revolutionary break and our principles upon which the new country would stand — the Declaration of Independence.

The Lee Resolution said:

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent states; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

The Declaration, including this phrase, was adopted later, and not made official until signed by Congress' president, John Hancock, on July 4. Many of the Signers did not affix their names until August, and others still later.

Today, as well as the 4th, is a time for reflection on this country — its past and the blood spilled and toil given to create and preserve it — and prayer in thanksgiving for the greatness that it has become and for those who have guaranteed it through their sacrifice, as well as for its future. It's a time to think about the meaning of our country's founding and its founding principles. For us Virginians, it's also a time of pride and reflection on our Commonwealth's great contributions to the creation of this blessed country and all those since — and that continue today — that have so enriched America. 

On behalf of The Family Foundation of Virginia, we wish everyone a safe, fun and patriotic Independence Day Weekend.