When you ask someone what the 4th of July means, one may say fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics, parades, and baseball games. While all of these are great answers, events like this only occurred because the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776. Two days delegates from 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. How did America gain its Independence from Great Britain? The Revolutionary War started in 1775 and ended in 1783. Having victory in the Revolutionary War gave American Colonies the Independence they wanted. The Revolutionary War was a war in the making for more than a decade. Tensions were high between the American Colonies and Great Britain for several reasons. The French and Indian War, the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Act of 1767, and the Tea Act of 1773, just to name a few. Meanwhile, many battles were fought by courageous men and women for something they believed in. What’s that, you may ask. These brave men and women believed in a better America. America is a place where people are free. Later in history, the Bill of Rights was established along with the first 10 Amendments to ensure people's rights. While you are out enjoying the long holiday weekend, take a minute to reflect on these encounters and many others where brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice that allowed all of us the freedom to gather with friends, family, ballgames, cookouts, parades, fireworks, or other activities you may partake in. Fun fact: Did you know fireworks have been around since early 200BC. It was not until July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day, that fireworks started. Ships fired their cannons 13 times to honor the 13 colonies. Moving forward, fireworks have been part of Independence Day every senesce. From Chief Tim Littleton and Perry Township Police Department's men and women, we wish you a happy and safe 4th of July. And remember, the judge will not be back until Tuesday.