Is July 2 America%u2019s true Independence Day? John Adams thought so. - The Washington Post. The history of the actual signing (July 2, 1776), the actual adoption by the Continental Congress (July 4, 1776), and the celebration (July 8, 1776) of the Declaration of Independence, is not important. However, the fact that our country was born of a desire to escape monarchy, and to create a self-governing society whose citizens are free to speak their minds, is. Over the years there have been many challenges to our freedom. We have our republic, and, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, we will have it, if we can keep it. Challenges to freedom of speech come from those who want a society to be as they wish it. We must defend that freedom, above all others. The next time you see someone stifling another's freedom to speak, regardless of how offensive you believe the speech to be, remember: We have our Republic. Can we keep it?