Why We Celebrate the 4th of July

    Posted on Friday, July 3, 2020 at 12:10 PM

    Posted by Mike McPartlin on Jul 3, 2020 12:10:46 PM

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    What does it mean to be a nation?


    The word “nation” comes from the root word for “birth.”

    Compare the words natal, nascent, native and nativity; all relate to things being born.

    A nation, therefore, is something that has come into existence - A Nation is Born.

    The United States of America is unique in all of human history.

    It is unique for many reasons, one of which is that, like a human, it has a birth certificate.

    Declaration of Independence is our nation's birth certificate.

    Our nation’s birth certificate is the Declaration of Independence.

    Our character as a nation, imprinted on us at our birth, is embodied in the core principles, in the self-evident truths, stated in the Declaration of Independence.

    These core principles include: 

    that all men are created equal 

    that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

    that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

    That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men

    deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed 

    That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends

    it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it

    Talk to Headmaster

    Today, our nation's core principles are under attack!


    The founders called these core principles self-evident truths. They regarded them as universal, eternal truths, applying to all people in all nations at all times.

    1 1 1 2021 BA 4th of July Photo

    Many Americans today, however, reject this notion, believing the principles enunciated in the Declaration to be outdated notions from a highly flawed era in our nation's history.

    And so today we see these principles openly attacked, including by many of our elected leaders who say they want to remake or fundamentally change the nation into something else.

    It is not entirely clear, however, what that something else is.

    In my opinion, our nation's core principles should be revered and, especially during this challenging time, revisited and reaffirmed.

    They certainly should not be weakened or, far worse, abandoned.

    Two speeches make the argument

    The arguments in favor of adhering to our nation’s founding principles are many. None are more erudite than the speeches noted below, made by two of our former presidents: 

    Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address; and

    Calvin Coolidge’s 1926 Fourth of July Speech.

    If you are unsure about why the principles in the Declaration of Independence are so very important to us as Americans, and so very worth defending, these great speeches will put things in perspective for you and, I expect, remove any doubt.

    Gettysburg Address

    Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address

    Lincoln’s address came during our “great Civil War.” He spoke his immortal words in 1863 at the dedication ceremonies for a cemetery located in Gettysburg, PA for the soldiers who’d died there. 

    His famous introductory words “Four score and seven years ago” refer to the year 1776 and the Declaration of Independence, which “brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

    The war was a test of "whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

    Lincoln concluded his speech with this sentence: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    A lot there - and profound indeed.

    Coolidge 4th of July Speech

    1 BA Calvin Coolidge

    Coolidge gave his speech in Philadelphia in 1926, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration.

    He spoke brilliantly about the history and philosophy that led to its signing, and then said “About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful.” 

    Added Coolidge: “If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.

    "No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.”



    Talk to Headmaster

    At Bridgedale we are committed to the development of our young student-athletes, helping them to develop their physical and mental skills so they can perform at their best when it matters most, no matter the arena of life that challenges them. If you would like to learn more about Bridgedale Academy, please click the button below so we can schedule a time to chat.
                                                                                           Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy



    Attention 4th Graders

    In addition to our 5th through 8th graders, Bridgedale Academy is accepting a limited number of 4th graders for the 2023-24 school year, on a case-by-case basis. Please call me at 708-712-5079 to inquire. 

    Mike McPartlin, Headmaster


    Bridgedale Academy School for Athletes

    Bridgedale students LOVE going to school,

    and so they THRIVE in it.

    They LOVE coming to school every day.

    And as a result, they are thriving.

    They engage academically ...

    ... and so they come to love learning.

    They also love that they get to work on the sport they have such passion for, while also training to become better athletes, all as part of their school day.

    They train athletically ...

    ... and so they more fully develop their skills.

    They LOVE getting so much better ... so much sooner.

    They are physically fit and mentally alert ... they are thriving.



    Schedule a Bridgedale Shadow Day


    “Every shot you don't take won't go in.”

    Wayne Gretzky


    Talk to Headmaster


    Schedule a visit to Bridgedale Academy 



    Bridgedale is now enrolling students for the 2023-24 School Year. 

    Bridgedale Academy is an all-boys school for athletes, a prep school for serious youth hockey players. We offer the 4th through 8th grades. In addition to our winning combination of sports and academics, we focus on leadership training. We use a classical academic curriculum and our graduates go on to attend some of the most prestigious high schools in the midwest, including Lake Forest Academy, Culver Military Academy, Shattuck St. Mary’s, Northwood School, Benet Academy, Fenwick Prep, Loyola Academy, St. Ignatius Prep, Marmion Academy, St. Viator, Latin School and Providence Catholic. We pride ourselves on being the top youth hockey prep school in the nation. Our grads go on to top colleges and universities, including Notre Dame, Harvard, Denver, Ohio State, Bentley, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Boston College, Tufts, Nebraska (Omaha), Hobart, Adrian, MSOE and more.  More than thirty (30) of our graduates have already received their NCAA Division 1 college hockey commitments. Seven (7) of our grads have gone on to compete for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). Nine (9) of our grads have been NHL-drafted (one made his NHL debut this past season). Our grads play at all levels of college hockey and many are now playing junior hockey in the USHL, the NAHL and the OHL.
    « Previous Post 2019-20: A School Year for the Ages Next Post » 2020-21: Bridgedale Offering High School