Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me...and Us!

I'm here in Philadelphia on July 3rd - almost perfect timing!  But it's a good time to split the difference and wish America a Happy Birthday tomorrow (July 4th) and this blog a Happy Birthday yesterday (July 2nd).  The purist in me still maintains that our country's "real" birthday is September 17 (the date the Constitution was adopted and sent to the states for ratification).  Still, the Fourth of July is as good a date to celebrate as any.  I'd encourage all of you to read the Declaration of Independence today, just to remind yourself what it says and why it was written.  Here's a link for you if you don't have your own copy handy:

I know this is a blog primarily about the Constitution, but the Declaration was the first serious "shot across the bow" at the British and helped give the colonists the rallying point (not to mention some good talking points!) for the Revolution.  It really didn't establish anything in terms of a new government, but was simply what it says - a declaration "That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States".  Think back to the immortal words Jefferson wrote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..

...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...

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.

Excuse me, it just gives me shivers, reading such brilliant work...

So, this Independence Day (not merely "The Fourth of July"), think back to what the Founders were going through - their thoughts and feelings and the way they lived.  Then think ahead to the government they established a very tough eleven years later with the Constitution.  It's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day nonsense we all too often see from our government at all levels.  Still, show me a better, longer lasting and more durable system.  Enjoy it and celebrate it today!

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