With the American Civil War just over, Independence Day celebrations in 1865 were especially festive. Robert Merry’s Museum celebrated with several poems and with this editorial by John N. Stearns.

Editorial comment on July 4, 1865 (from Robert Merry’s Museum, July 1865; p. 23)

The anniversary of our Nation’s birth-day comes to us this year with double force and peculiar joy. Our brave boys in blue are coming home, bringing back the old Stars and Stripes in glory, “not a Stripe erased nor a single Star obscured;” but with more than their original luster they shine forth with increasing brightness. There never was a time when we had so much to celebrate or so much occasion for rejoicing. Freedom and Liberty, purchased by the best blood of our Revolutionary fathers, has been repurchased and consecrated anew by the noble heroes who have freely died that their country might live. Their noble deeds of glory will live in song and story as long as time and memory shall last.

Ring the bells, wave the flags, fire the guns, shout the loud huzzas, and sing “Victory at last!”

Our land is free indeed, and our country destined to be the home of freedom, a shelter for the oppressed, and a land where God shall manifest his glory upon the earth. As you shout and sing, remember the blessings that God as bestowed upon you, and forget not all his mercies. Let this day impress upon your minds the lessons which it teaches, and learn to love your God, your country, and your fellow-man.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
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