When delegates of the Second Continental Congress gathered they would end their sessions with a traditional, "God save the King." Over time, the enthusiasm expressed in the statement decreased immensely as delegates grappled with the debate and issues associated with becoming independent from Great Britain.
On July 2, 1776 delegates of the 13 colonies (at this point John Adams insisted they refer to the 13 states) assembled to adopt a resolution of independence. Each delegate in attendance was proclaimed by the King as a traitor and rebel, threatened with a penalty of death by hanging. Undeterred by those threats, one by one, 12 of the states voted yea, with one, New York, abstaining. The resolution passed and a Declaration of Independence was adopted and a new and independent country, the United States, was born.
Once the vote had been taken, an energetic yet respectful, "God save the United States," was uttered first by the Congressional chair and then by the room of delegates. A solemn silence then filled the delegate's assembly hall as the magnitude of what they had just accomplished settled into their minds.
Two days later on July 4, 1776, an edited draft of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was adopted, setting one of the most epic dates in U.S. history.
Today, July 4, 2016, in addition to our celebration of independence, I hope we all will take a solemn moment of silence and ponder the meaning of independence, freedom and liberty and utter a quiet prayer of, "God save the United States."
A. Cory Maloy
A. Cory Maloy (R) was elected to the Utah House of Representatives for District 6 on Nov. 8, 2016