Celebrating Independence Day

Fourth of July graphic showing fireworks and U.S. flag
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
So you're getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. Maybe a little picnic, barbeque, some fireworks — that's the way to go.

Fireworks on the Fourth are appropriate — because in Philadelphia in that fateful summer of 1776, there were verbal fireworks aplenty. Do we stick with Mother England, or do we break away?

This whole idea of independence was not a fait accompli; not by any means. Breaking away from the motherland was a decision fraught with danger. The men who helped lead the revolution were simultaneously committing treason — and treason is no trivial matter. Not only would lives be lost in the fight to gain freedom, the men who ultimately signed the Declaration of Independence were literally risking their lives in doing so.

Much is said about the Founding Fathers — their foibles, their foresight — but what impresses me most was their courage.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith