July 4th, 2015

Celebrate Independence Day — And Remember our History

American USA Flag

Today, July 4th, we are celebrating a special birthday — the launching of a new nation that would become the world’s greatest exemplar of freedom and democracy. It is easy to lose sight of the challenges that faced our fore-fathers, and the continuing burdens we all share, as Americans, to maintain freedom at home and stand as an example to other peoples engaged in the struggle for democracy. It is more important than ever that we remember the ideals on which the nation was founded, and remember that our nation became great through the efforts and talents of a free citizenry.

It’s easy to think of fun, sun, and relaxation over the 4th of July weekend. Ball games, picnics, and fireworks may be foremost in our minds on July 4th, but we should take the time to contemplate the real significance of this day.

The Founding Fathers launched an incredibly risky and radical undertaking in 1776 — breaking away from English rule, and challenging the forces of the British Empire, the most powerful political entity the world had ever known.

Study the Revolutionary War, and you’ll learn that America’s bid for independence was a “long-shot” endeavor — the odds of success were poor. On the battlefield, our revolutionary armies were defeated many times by the British, and Gen. George Washington himself believed the Revolution was a lost cause on many occasions. In celebrating the 4th of July, we should honor the courage and dedication of those who fought for independence. We should also take time to consider the principles set out in the Declaration of Independence itself. Have we, as a nation, remained faithful to these tenets?:

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.

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