Independence Day

Old State House, Boston, July 4, 2013 -- Reading the Declaration of Independence

Old State House, Boston, July 4, 2013 — A reading of the Declaration of Independence (Photo: DY)

I know that many readers find their way to this blog because they’re facing difficult, sometimes horrible situations at work. I’m not a professional counselor, but I also know that it’s possible to feel very trapped in such situations, and getting unstuck can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

Here in the States it’s our Independence Day, marking America’s 1776 proclamation of separation from British rule. For those who are feeling stuck in place, let me use this occasion to encourage you to do at least one thing every day that moves you in a better direction.

Do something, anything, so long as it is healthy rather than self-destructive and more freeing than constraining. The path toward something better may start with tiny steps or huge leaps, but going forward you must.

At least one thing, every day. It starts to add up, and while there are no guarantees, it may lead you to something much better.

***

Personal note: I took the photo this morning. After 19 years in Boston, I figured it was time to partake in at least one of the July 4 historic observances. I learned today that the actual first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Boston did not occur until July 18, 1776. It took two weeks for a rider to deliver a copy to Boston and for local leaders to organize a formal presentation to the public at this very site.

To be honest, standing in the increasingly hot sun and listening to a reading of the complete Declaration, with its long list of grievances against the Crown, is not something I’d want to do every year. But today I imagined what it was like to be there in 1776, listening to the same document being presented, perhaps standing right where I’m standing. Pretty neat stuff.

2 responses

  1. Your story compelled me to get my sister’s book out “The Bolyard Story: Ancestors and Decendants of Stephen Bolyard Preston County, West Virginia, Pioneer. She wrote it mainly for my children and their descendents. She had enough copies printed for family and a few others she donated to libraries or sells for $12.00. (printing cost). It is wonderfully researched and written. It is written in story form about our ancestors who served in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. My maiden name is Bolyard.

    I will get to the point and then go back to how we are related to Stephen Balliet (the name was later changed to Bolyard).

    excerpt from Sharon Smith’s book (my sister):
    “As an officer in the Northampton County militia, Stephen Balliet had a role in a significant historical event that took place on July 8, 1776, in Easton, county seat of Northampton County. Easton was selected as one of the three places, along with Philadelphia and Trenton, for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence which had been adopted four days earlier. Lt. Colonel Stephen Ballet and other field officers in the Northhampton County militia were among the select group gathered at the entrance of the county courthouse which stood in the Grand Square. According to family tradition, Lt. Colonel Stephan carried one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence to Easton for the reading.”

    The Balliet’s immigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France during the Hugeunot exodus. My father, Junior Bolyard who served in WWII, was the son of Alvie Bolyard, Alvie’s grandfather was Henry Preston Bolyard, son of Stephen Bolyard son of Joseph Balliet, who was one of the first ancestors to immigrate to America.

    This is a long comment but thought you might find it interesting.

    Lana Bolyard Cooke
    West Virginia Healthy Workplace Bill State Coordinator

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