Yet the notion of independence may be said to have a special significance within Freemasonry itself. Masonically, it reminds us of the common gavel, that gavel which constantly reminds us that we as Freemasons will never submit to be ruled against our own free will and accord. As Albert Pike phrases it in his First Degree lecture in Morals and Dogma: “The Force of the people, or the popular will, in action and exerted, [is] symbolized by the Gavel, regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of Law and Order . . . ” We together as a whole -- made up of individuals -- determine our destiny and design our plans without the influence of any external agents, and consequently our Masonic Institution can never be dominated by any specific religious denomination or political party.
On the night of July Fourth, we will see and hear the fireworks, echoing the cannons of the victorious battle of freedom so that our flag may proudly wave in the serene sky of Independence. We are reminded that our forefathers shed their blood to earn the respect of every nation in the world. On a Fourth of July long ago in 1837, the poet and philosopher Emerson celebrated that
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free . . .
We continue to savor the taste of that freedom which draws the admiration of friends and the grudging respect of foes.
Let us then celebrate this most solemn occasion and prove ourselves to be deserving of this honor. Let us renew our vow to defend our nation and show our solidarity and strengthen our morale should any enemy ever dare to challenge our freedom and independence.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Charbel T. Fahed
Grand Master of Masons
Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia