This is Albert Mohler for The American experiment is now 232 years old – at least the way we count it. We date ourselves as a nation to July 4, 1776, even though the Declaration of Independence was actually signed the day before. No matter, it was announced on the fourth of July.

Those who signed that historic statement of liberty were putting their lives on the line. They knew that Britain would see them as traitors, even as the new nation saw them as patriots.

What so many fail to understand now is that the Declaration was an argument that had to be defended. That argument has now been defended over and over again, as each successive generation of Americans has to make the cause of freedom its own.

Independence Day is an American institution, and rightly so. Enjoy the fireworks, share a picnic, and fly the flag with pride. Happy Fourth of July.

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[Thanks to readers who pointed out that the nation is 232, not 238 years old.]