Two hundred thirty-seven (237) years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain. This act paved the way for the 13 original colonies to become the nation that we now call the United States of America.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that an estimated 2.5 million persons were living in the newly independent nation. [Ref 1] Fast forward to today, and that estimate is 316.2 million persons [Ref 2] who will be celebrating Independence Day or doing whatever else they desire to do in these United States.
As a special observance for this Independence Day, I’d like to ask each reader of this post to send up a special prayer, or repeat A Firemen’s Prayer below for the 19 young men of the Granite Hill Hot Shot Crew who lost their lives on June 30th fighting the Yarnell Hill fire near Prescott, AZ. Only one member of the hot shot crew survived, Brendan McDonough, and he may actually need our prayers more than anyone else impacted by this tragedy.
A Fireman’s Prayer
When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage.
Give me strength to save some life
whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a child
before it is too late,
or save an older person
from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently to
put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me.
To guard my every neighbor and
protect his property.
And if according to my fate,
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand
my children and wife.
– Author Unknown
Happy Independence Day to each of you. God bless you and God bless America!
1. Census Statistics, www.census.gov
2. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012, <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/counties/totals/2012/CO-EST2012-01.html>,