It was not an easy process, nor one entered into lightly. It was no less than earthshaking. We owe everything to our Founders.
This clip from the film "1776" is one of my favorites. It gets to the heart of the process, even while being a bit cloudy about dates (the vote was for the Lee Resolution, and taken on July 2nd, while the Declaration was approved on the 4th, and not fully signed for some time after.
John Adams, in a letter to his wife, said:
"I am apt to believe that it [July 2nd] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
Well stated, Sir.