On America’s Birthday, the Declaration of Independence and Ray Charles

| July 3, 2009 | Reply

Tomorrow is America’s 233rd Birthday and I have to say that she’s still looking pretty darned good for her age. She is the longest-running constitutional republic in the world, the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the Earth and, despite recent setbacks, the guardian of freedom and liberty around the globe. I love her dearly and wouldn’t live anywhere else, even if you handed me a million dollars.

Today, most of us will eat our fill of barbecue and take in a fireworks show, but I want to ask you to do one other thing. Please take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence. Andrew Malcolm has reprinted it and I think we’d all benefit from reading over what our founders were really fighting against and how far they were willing to go to gain the freedom they craved.

Here is the Announcement that Shook the World:

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.

What many of us forget is that the signers of the Declaration knew that they would lose everything unless they prevailed and even then, there was no guarantee they would emerge unscathed. Their property would be taken from them, their honor would be savaged, and they would be executed summarily as traitors. So they formed a brotherhood and explicitly put everything they had on the table, where everyone, including the King, could see it.

That was an act of amazing bravery, the likes of which is rare, even today.

So, go over and read. Give it some thought. Maybe, if you’re inspired by the boldness of the signers, you can show up at a Tea Party.

And with that, I’ll just hand it over to Ray Charles now.

I’ll be over here reading and getting goosebumps, thanks.

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Category: The Good Old US of A

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