Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 5, 1776

            Think about the day after the Declaration of Independence was published.
            The countryside waits breathlessly under the cloudy heat; the cities are even more stifling.
            What will happen next?
            Everyone who celebrated in the streets yesterday is praying that King George will release the colonies benevolently.  They know this hope is ill-founded, yet they still murmur beseeching prayers as they go about their business.  The men in the public houses mutter quietly in small circles around their tables; the women in the homes whisper back and forth as they sew and churn and rock babies.  The soldiers—in their barracks and on patrol—shift their weapons restlessly, avoiding the eyes of those they pass.  Even the children playing in the streets are subdued, as if they sense the fear that hangs heavy over their home.
            That is probably the best description of July 5, 1776.

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