Today, we in the United States celebrate the 246th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress in 1776. It was on this day that the American people sought to chart their own course and to break ties with Great Britain.
I am always reminded of these famous words, which really constitute the most fundamental character of our nation:
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.
Equality under the law, God-given rights, the consent of the governed. These are some of our highest values.
Today we celebrate our independence and our rights. We do so with fireworks, grill outs, family gatherings, parades, and all other sorts of activities. While our country may have its flaws and while it may be undergoing great trials, we can and should be proud of our nation, its culture, its history, its institutions, its accomplishments, and its ideals. America is a wonderful thing to celebrate. I especially love this quote concerning the Fourth of July:
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. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.John Adams
Have a Happy Independence Day, and God Bless America!