It is important that everyone who is or wishes to become an American Citizen recognizes the importance of Independence Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4. 1776.
For those who went to public schools or snoozed through history, that is the historic document the 13 Colonies used to outline the “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” of the British King and to declare their independence from the British Crown, stating “that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”
If you call Independence Day the Fourth of July, you miss the point. That’s like celebrating December 25th instead of wishing someone a Merry Christmas.
The Declaration of Independence
You can read the entire Declaration here, but I have printed below what I feel is the most important part:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Freedom from Tyranny
Of special importance, note that the Declaration clarifies that:
- The rights of men are granted by God, not by government
- That governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed
- That the people have the right to “alter or abolish” the government and institute a new one
- But that this should not be done lightly
Whether you choose to celebrate with flag or fireworks, picnics or a trip to the beach, do keep in mind that you are celebrating the importance of being free from tyranny, mock trials, and military occupation.
Happy Independence Day, everyone.