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.
Such an amazing chunk of land were we – 13 colonies stretching from what is now Maine, south to Georgia. Colonies composed of people who fled their homelands because they were different in philosophy, politics, religion and other ideals. People took residence across these stretches of land, their differences obvious. How could any fools think such different people would unite to fight Britain? A Catholic fighting alongside an Anglican, Amish or Deist? A white man alongside a black slave? German, French and British brothers in war? HAH!
But we did.
We were not perfect then, and still aren’t. Independence Day was the start of a race toward betterment and we have improved. The Preamble of our Declaration is a baton each generation passes to the next to, it’s tacit scream: “continue on!” Trying to change the minds of established people isn’t easy, but we WERE making progress. Now, many seem to want to toss that baton to the wayside and turn back to what we were – or worse, ideals we swore would never happen here.
So, today, don’t listen to pundits – or those claiming to be pundits – explaining US History. Read it yourself. While opening your beer or pouring coffee, when dabbing mustard on a hot dog, catsup on a burger or sauce on ribs, search for and read the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Constitution of the United States – and it’s Bill of Rights and Amendments.
We must continue on.
Happy Independence Day.