The Fourth of July celebrates the birthday of America – a birth thought to be so weakened without the rule, direction and protection of its all-powerful mother country. This very experiment lacked precedent and was never thought to see the light of day.
Then There Were Believers
In 1776 no colony had ever successfully broken away from its colonizing ruler and surely no disassembled militia of farmers and untrained “soldiers” could withstand the British army’s brute force and expert marksmanship. With all odds against them, the Continental Congress had a different idea in mind. They took action, believed, and put their intentions to paper. On July 4th 1776, Thomas Jefferson’s precise prose stated simply:
“We feel that the following realities are obvious and speak for themselves: that all people, from the moment of their creation, are equal in the eyes of the law; that God Himself gives them certain privileges that can never be taken away, among which are the right to be alive, the right to be free of undue control or force, and the right to seek a fulfilling life.”
America remains a Nation of action. As we move forward, we cannot lose sight of the fact that America delivered on its promise of freedom; as we continue to improve our democracy, respect for diverse ideas, perspectives, and opinions must be valued and not met with resistance and cold shoulders.
In my article title “Domestic Diplomacy”, I stated the following:
Yes, we debate. We will passionately disagree with opposing viewpoints, and we will stand up for what we view as right or wrong: History has shown this. But even when such disagreements led to bloodshed, the end result has been unification – to a nation that trusts in diversity of ideas and most importantly, its people.
Regardless of political affiliation, understand that we are all people and Americans first. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was perceived as a revolutionary statement, and today on July 4th 2017 we can still voice our dissent, protest, and support movements that we believe are true to the American experiment.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”