July 4th has come to mean different things to different people. Many of us have fallen prey to the “Christmasization” of Independence Day. You know – huge sales, parties, American Flag bikinis, etc. I’m not even sure they teach much about the significance of July 4th in schools anymore.
Because I grew up alternately in New York and Connecticut, every other school field trip involved some Revolutionary War Battlefield or other. Our proximity to historical sites gave us many opportunities to walk amongst the ghosts of our fore-fathers. When I worked on Whitehall Street in Manhattan, we would go to Fraunces Tavern on occasion. If you have never been there, go. Especially if you are a history buff. Heck, I had been to Washington, DC at least 5 times by the age of 11.
Okay, okay…so, where am I going with this? Well, I wanted to explain how I developed my view on Independence Day celebrations. I review the Declaration of Independence. BO-RING! Right? I swear I will buy myself a life soon. In the meantime, reading the greatest document ever written (with the exception of the Constitution) reminds me that I am only able to do what I am doing right now because of people like Thomas Jefferson.
I fear that those elected by US have forgotten that, within the building they enter every day, are those very documents. Here are a couple of excerpts from the Congress’s Draft of the Declaration of Independence. I like to read this because it shows the true, original thoughts that went into the Declaration prior to the final edits.
- “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness: —That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the governed;…” Where has our right to consent gone? It doesn’t read “at the whim of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid”, does it?
- “…He has erected a Multitude of new Offices by a self assumed power and sent hither Swarms of new Officers to harass our People and eat out their Substance…” ( The words in blue indicate additions by the members of the Continental Congress) Although the “He” to which this document refers was King George, it might apply to current-day politicians as well. Hmmm…can anyone say Czars? Or, Acorn?
- “…For imposing Taxes on us without our consent…” Nuff said.
I wish our members of Congress would take an hour or so today to review the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Yeah, right…