WHEN in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.
Without a doubt the most important 182 words ever written in the history of Earth. The writing brilliance, of Thomas Jefferson, on full display as the thirteen original colonies, through the Continental Congress, announced that they no longer would abide by the oppression of King George lll and that they intended to be a free and sovereign country.
For 245 years we have celebrated this historic event, rather than the writing of our Constitution eleven years later. It goes to show how important a step in our countries history this was, both at the time, and today. Declaring our independence from tyranny was, and is, more important than laying out the foundation of our country.
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. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Jefferson then went on to list, in great detail, twenty-seven issues that were of great insult and injury to our founding fathers. He was not shy about showing the King, why these thirteen pesky problems across the sea, were going to defy him and remove themselves from his control.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat(sic) the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured(sic) to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
The four paragraphs above could have been written today to describe some of the very same things going on right now in our country. We are at war with each other as we each try to force our beliefs onto those that see the world different than we do. Our frustration is growing as all of us can't understand why our neighbor, friends, and even family don't see issues in the same light as we do.
Are we right? Are they right? What is gong to happen to us all? Things are pretty scary today as it seems like we are in a free fall towards civil war, and we have a Constitution in place that tells us what to do, and gives us the laws we have followed since 1787. Imagine how frightened they must have been in 1776 without any path in place to guide them, but resolved to not let themselves be treated like they were.
Maybe, on this Independence Day, we take a small step back and think about what is really important to us, and our country. The petty partisan politics, the fighting over legal votes, the undermining of our democracy, and the loathing of those that don't agree with us, are all counter productive to what keeps our country great.
It has always been our differences that has made us stronger. America has never been afraid of anyone or anything, and yet, we are scared to death to let someone that doesn't look like us, come into our country, or apply for a job, or, yes, even vote in our elections. What are we afraid of?
Our founding fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters, showed what America was to become by having the courage, and conviction, to say we are not going to take this anymore. They loudly proclaimed to the world that we are the United States of America and we stand for freedom and Independence.
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 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 levy 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.
As you enjoy your Fourth of July this year with family and friends around your barbeque, please take a moment to remember what this day is all about, as written by Thomas Jefferson.
"..we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
To each other. Not to any one man, or ideal, but to honor and help each other.
(Here is a link to the Declaration of Independence)