Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Today marks the anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence when several brave men drafted and wrote a document, thought to be quite treasonous, basically telling England to go shove it.   The opening paragraph begins to tell the story.
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.
It’s kind of like a teen leaving home and establishing their adulthood for anyone to hear.  Like an adolescent, this county had been suffering some growing pains since the colonization of the original thirteen colonies.  Thomas Jefferson was the one asked to write this document.  Jefferson was an inventive man, and had met several times with the committee of five who discussed this idea.  He did not make claim to the fact that these were his ideas, the idea of a government based on consent was an old idea.  However, the idea of a government “of the people for the people” was new.  But as he had written his own draft for the constitution of Virginia, it was thought he could use that as a basis.  So the document was written, revised with several suggestions from people like Franklin, Adams and many others who ended up signing the document.  In addition, not all that he wrote ultimately made it into the final copy.  It is said that Congress deleted a whole section because they didn’t believe in some of the words and ideas he had expressed.  All in all it was a declaration drafted by many and eventually ratified by all in power at the time.

History goes on from there to say that this document set the stage for the final removal of the original colonies from England.  There were several other documents penned and ratified that ended up to form what we know now as the United States of America, and whose birthday we celebrate today.  As Americans, both those born on this soil and those naturalized, we should know our history and should understand the sacrifices that all who have participated in its creation have made.  Much blood has been shed for the things that many of us take for granted.  This country with all its faults is the greatest in the world.  I, for one, and proud to be an American.

Happy birthday, America.  May you live long and free!

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