The 4th of July has arrived! Between the hot dogs, parades, and fireworks, it is easy to forget what we are celebrating. Perhaps, we should take a moment to remember….
The 4th of July commemorates the creation and signing (by 3 of 56 people) the Declaration of Independence. It is the day that our forefathers chose to separate themselves from the English government, and begin creation of the United States. Just in case you have forgotten since the 4th grade, here are the important bits (no, I won’t make you read the whole thing).
We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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 to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
I don’t care what you think of our President, what your political view are, or how often you exercise your right to vote. What I do care about is that you take a moment to do 2 things this 4th of July:
- Take a moment to appreciate that we live in this beautiful country. Our forefathers created this nation to give us the freedom to live our lives the way we would like. It wasn’t the easy choice, and it wasn’t a simple task to create a government for the people. They did it anyway.
- Be grateful for our men and women in uniform. If you don’t believe we belong in these conflicts, still be grateful for our troops. They are not a political machine, they are real humans who deserve our respect and support, regardless of your views. Support them. Be grateful. And take every opportunity you can to thank them for protecting us.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July! Be sure to eat plenty of BBQ, light off tons of fireworks, and spend time with your family!