“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.” – Robert J. McCracken
Why would an Australian celebrate the 4th of July? No I don’t have any blood relations born in America. No I’m not in a relationship with an American, though I have been before. Growing up in Australia we have definitely been influenced by their music, TV shows and movies, but I think it goes back further than that.
This year more than any other I’ve been pondering the thought on how much their declaration of independence from England lead to shaping the formation of Australia as we now know it. An American friend now living in Australia invited me to my first ever thanksgiving last year. An American tradition I’d always wanted to experience but never had. Part of the festivities for the day was watching a documentary about the pilgrims and the founding fathers of America.
It was a fascinating look at why the pilgrims left for America and what they faced in the lead up to the first reading of the declaration of independence in 1776. I don’t have the word count, time or funding to delve into this topic here as much as I would like to. It could make for a fascinating university research paper or thesis.
Aspirations of freedom
I wonder how many of those sailing in the first fleet 12 years later had similar aspirations of being free. One of the most memorable parts of the documentary was seeing The National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which stands 81-foot-tall and is made from solid granite.
On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of "Faith" with her right hand pointing toward heaven and her left hand clutching the Bible. On the four buttresses are seated figures emblematical of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth; Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty.
The more I research the birth of The United States of America it sounds very similar to the ideals I grew up with and that are still strived for in Australia. Though we didn’t have a war with England and are still part of the commonwealth like Canada is, left to self-govern we have definitely forged our own unique identity.
So why despite being an Australian do I have an interest in the 4th July? Because I believe in the ideals the pilgrims and founding fathers did. The more I learn, the more I appreciate the treason they committed allowing me to have some of the freedoms I take for granted every day.
I have no doubt when those from the First Fleet and those arriving on later ships would have been influenced by what was happening in America.
How long did it take for the 4 minute mile to be broken? How many times was it broken in the months afterwards? Once someone knows something is possible not just in theory but they know it’s possible because someone else has done it, it makes it so much easier to do.
Discovering history can be a fascinating journey. I’ve learned recently that the first English bible printed in America was endorsed by congress. Considering the current state of world politics that was a surprise. As was learning previous American Governors regularly officially called for days of national prayer.
It’s interesting how many federal buildings across the country still bear scriptural references on them. Commemorating the end of segregation in Nashville on the Court House and City Hall Building reads April 19, 1960, “And the people shouted with a great shout; so that the wall fell down” Joshua chapter 6, verse 20.
On the 19th of April, 1960, Nashville proclaimed itself a beacon of civility, common sense and reconciliation.
This memorial commemorates the civility of those demonstrators, Mayor Ben West, and our community on that day. May we continue to live together as one God-fearing community forever.
The more I discover, the more I appreciate what history can teach us. Looking at some of the things going on in the world today a deeper understanding and appreciation of where we as a global society have come from could help prevent future videos like this from being shot.
Let me leave you this month with this inscription on the back of a Daughters of the American Revolution water fountain in Plymouth, Massachusetts which reads “They brought up their families in sturdy virtue and a living faith in God without which nations perish.”
Next month: The importance of community.
Neville Hiatt’s previous posts for Press Services International can be read here. He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. He now runs http://nevillehiatt.com where he shares his desire to Inspire, Create, Motivate, and Educate through his photography, poetry and short stories. He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/ covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here.
He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com.
He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.