I almost forgot to wish everyone a happy Fourth! Even if you are not American, take a moment to celebrate America’s independence and subsequent experiment in freedom and liberty for and by the people (to paraphrase Lincoln).
First, do what most Americans have never done – spend five minutes actually reading the Declaration of Independence. (Or here is a JPG of the actual document)
Here are a few quotes relating to the Fourth:
There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!
–John Hancock (attributed), upon signing the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
…the declaratory charter of our rights.
–Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence
If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile.
–Samuel Eliot Morrison
Our Declaration of Independence has been copied by emerging nations around the globe, its themes adopted in places many of us have never heard of. Here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights. We the people declared that government is created by the people for their own convenience. Government has no power except those voluntarily granted it by the people. There have been revolutions before and since ours, revolutions that simply exchanged one set of rulers for another. Ours was a philosophical revolution that changed the very concept of government.
–Ronald Reagan, address at Yorktown, October 19, 1981
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It truly was a revolutionary document!
And lastly a big thank you to the US military wherever you are.