July 4th – We Hold These Truths
”May the foundation of our new constitution, be justice, truth and righteousness. Like the wise man’s house may it be founded upon those rocks and then neither storms or tempests will overthrow it.” Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, July 13, 1776
The importance of July Fourth is that it marks the birth of the United States of America.
The signers of that document composed by Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia, knew that a declaration of independence from the dictatorial rule of Great Britain would lead to war.
They understood that the strong British army would be sailing across the Atlantic to descend on the relatively defenseless colonies. They knew that they didn’t have the numbers, arms or training to stand against the British, much less defeat them militarily. Yet they put their signatures, lives, families, and their destiny, on that parchment.
Against all odds, and even against reason, that Declaration told the world that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
Most of the people living in those colonies had simply had enough of British domination, of working and existing at the pleasure of a king they didn’t know and who obviously considered them his indentured servants. They wanted to be free, to make their own decisions and govern themselves.
The Declaration legally created the United States of America. But it did much more than that. It stated all governments everywhere were supposed to derive “their just powers from the consent of the people,” and that when any one of these governments became destructive of the people’s rights and liberties, the people could alter or abolish that government and begin a new one.
These words have served as inspiration for people everywhere.
But for Americans the Declaration has a special significance. It infused into our culture most of what we have come to believe and value. Our noblest ideals and highest aspirations—our beliefs in liberty, equality, and individual rights, including the right of every person to pursue happiness—came out of the Declaration of Independence.
“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.” Declaration of Independence
Happy July Fourth and Fly Safe,