Every fourth of July, the United States of America celebrates its birthday as a nation. We have picnics, parades and fireworks to remember this special day, but because it was so long ago (246 years) the significance of the event needs to be illuminated. The Declaration of Independence made public on July 4, 1776, made clear the justification for the cause of Independence from the British Crown. Read the transcript of the Declaration of Independence at the link below:
The most famous and important words on the document are deep and profound; they set the course for the U.S. Constitution created for the establishment of a government "of the people, by the people and for the people".
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The first of these truths: All men are created equal. In 1776, this truth meant that the farmer in Virginia, the lawyer in Philadelphia and the tavern cook in Boston were created equal with King George in Britain. That was only the beginning, but it laid the foundation for equal rights for all, with the abolition of slavery and the right to vote for women.
The second of these truths is that the rights of all men are endowed by their Creator. It doesn't matter where you were born or what language you speak; you have rights given to you by God. The U.S. Constitution was written in such a way to limit government in order to preserve those rights.
The third truth expressed here is that among these (rights) are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, written to codify in law, the rights of all men which can never be allowed to be limited by a tyrant.
By declaring independence from Britain on the basis of liberty and justice for all, the United States of America set an example for the world; many other nations later declared their independence from other nations, for the reason of liberty. The words of the American patriot, Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death!" have been repeated around the world in other languages. For example, Dom Pedro I of Brazil shouted "Independência ou Morte" when declaring his country´s independence from Portugal.
One cannot and should not celebrate this Independence Day without acknowledging it as the day when patriots took a heroic stand to take back our God-given rights from the King of England. The freedom we enjoy came at a price to those patriots who fought to make this nation, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
Happy Independence Day!