Has all the hype, planning for gathering of friends and family, the three day (or longer) weekend in the middle of summer, and other trappings of this day left you in a daze? It might be worth noting, the folks who allowed for today to be the significant day it is were somewhat preoccupied as well….
“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 to 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 shown 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. â€” Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.”
Two Hundred Twenty Nine Years ago, today, the document containing these words was signed.
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 the 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 levey 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.
At least thirty of the fifty some odd signators of the Decloration of Independence lost their properties, fortunes, and in some cases family members as a direct result of actions they took in following their beliefs. The thoughts and words they held and expressed were not idle banter. The British certianly considered them to be at the very least reactionaries, and traitors to King and country, and at worst a direct threat to King and British rule. Yet, they persisted…and in the years following this decloration….engaged in armed conflict with the single most powerful nation of that time. We would emerge, a new nation, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. A scant 36 years later would find us taking up arms against the British one final time. This conflict would resolve itself in our favor as well.
Only within the last 64 years would this nation find agents, acting in accordence with foreign powers, attempting to strike within the borders (or protectorates) of these United States. Something not seen since the War of 1812. A united resolve and a national will to bring the Axis powers to their knees and ultimate end, was our answer to this threat.
Today we are involved in the first stages of world wide conflict to remove the newest version of an old cancer. Will we stay the course, as we have so many times before? Will we unite, as the literal and figuretive vanguard of freedom and liberty, to crush the cancer of religious and ideological darkness which avows to rid the world of our Western culture and thought? Or will we turn our backs not only on those tens of thousands of American men and women who freely gave of their “lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor”, but the countless tens of thousands of freedom loving humanity throughout the world, who gave of their own “blood, sweat, and toil”?
Today…before you head off to see the fireworks, sharing good times and good food with family, neighbors, and friends, We are in a daze….thinking of relaxing and recharging before returning to our respective “rat races”. Perhaps if we take a moment to reflect on those who signed the Decloration of Independence. Remembering the words, the ideals, and the price paid by those who gave us this nation. Understanding it is an ongoing responsibility, we all must accept, in wanting to remain true to these ideals, to remember same. To step out of the daze, and pay almage to the original patriots of the day. Knowing what they passed on to us is always in need of defending whether it be by the power of pen and paper, in addressing attacks to your liberties and freedoms. Or, if need be, by the use of stronger methods as proscribed by the Constitution, if the need should arise. If we stay in a comfortable daze, forgetting what was written, or why, this nation’s days will be numbered, and we as free, liberty loving men, shall surely parish from the face of this earth.