“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.” — Thomas Jefferson
Like many Americans, I’ll be with my family celebrating the Fourth of July. We will gather around the BBQ and enjoy our favorite dishes, which will include delicious home-made pies. I personally enjoy the peach, apple and cherry pies, served up with extra rich vanilla ice cream.
When the evening comes, we will be out and about with others, watching with amazement over a harbor the breathtaking fireworks display put on at our local community park.
The Fourth of July (Independence Day) is a national holiday, yet most Americans feel a bit uneasy and uncertain concerning the future of our country. Our Constitution is under attack, and we find ourselves having to focus more than ever on our rights and liberties, which seem to be disappearing under this present administration. We want our nation to thrive once again, we want to rebound and re-grow our economy — and that is impossible with a far-left ideologue sitting in the White House. Until President Barack Obama leaves office, all we can do is endure his socialistic polices, and plan to employ damage control when he leaves. Twenty-twelve can’t arrive too soon.
The Fourth of July is an extraordinarily special holiday. It’s a time to pause and acknowledge the colonists who were very angry about burdensome rules and regulations, including extremely high taxes. The unrest and discontentment would eventually resolve itself as the momentum built by the indignation of righteous people brought these issues to the forefront by 1776.
Most of America’s colonists came from Great Britain. They wanted to break free from the mother country. Simply put, they yearned to become independent from a country that did not treat them with respect and dignity. These strong-minded folks fully understood that departing from a powerful nation would mean that they would have to take on personal and civic responsibilities. Before long, they began to think about their own laws and providing for their own needs.
Our forefathers convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They appointed a committee to work closely together on a formal document that would explain to Great Britain that they had decided to govern themselves. A five-man committee asked Thomas Jefferson to write the document. He worked alone for many days until he completed a treatise that expressed all of the important points the committee had discussed.
Jefferson was selected to write the first draft because of his outstanding reputation for being a gifted writer. When he completed the draft, it was presented to the other committee members. On June 28, 1776, changes to the original version were completed. The message was precise and clear, and declared their independence from Britain. This formal document was officially adopted on July 4, 1776.
The Declaration of Independence is more than a mere piece of paper. It embodies our country’s prosperous and cherished freedoms, as well as its spirit. The Declaration points to a courageous people who held goals that reflected their desire for continuous improvement in the human condition. They were men to whom we can still look and admire. They fought hard to shape American ideals, and made America possible.
Today and every day, we must remember the brave hearts that signed the Declaration. They were threatened with the charge of treason by the leaders in Great Britain. The penalty would have been death. It took great emotional and spiritual fortitude to accomplish what these men bravely did for you, me, our forefathers, and every generation yet to come.
Every American should reflect on the effort and ideas that went into this incomparable document and of the wisdom and stamina of those who took a stand for what they knew was right. Think about them this Independence Day.
Take the time to give honor to all the delegates who signed the Declaration of Independence. They possessed the spirit of 1776.
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr. and Authur Middleton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine and Elbridge Gerry
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone and Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Ruchard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr.Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton and Edmund Randolph
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson and George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, and Thomas McKean
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, and Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart and Abraham Clark
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple and Matthew Thorton
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams and Oliver Wolcott
And consider starting a new tradition in your family by reading aloud The Declaration of Independence every Fourth of July. May God continue to bless America the beautiful, from sea to shining sea.
Marie’s chosen song: America the Beautiful
© Marie Jon