image credit: The History Place
Scott Powell at the American Thinker blog reminds us:
July 4th, also known as Independence Day, is a much more lighthearted and festive American holiday -- with cookouts, parades, beach and boating parties and fireworks -- than other patriotic holidays such Memorial Day or Veterans Day. Most people forget that when the 56 members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they were in fact signing their death warrants. At the time, Great Britain was the most powerful nation on earth, while the thirteen American colonies were poor and disunited. The British Crown deemed the issuance of a declaration of independence an act of treason, which meant that all signatories would be punishable by death.
. . .
As it turns out, the Declaration of Independence, which we celebrate on July 4th, is not just what gave political birth to the United States, with its unique emphasis on limited government and the freedom for its citizens. It was these simple ideas put into practice that also enabled the nation’s ascendance from colonial poverty to global superpower in a little more than 200 years.
However, during the last 50 years, America has increasingly been on a course of surrender and retreat from the principles that made her the envy of the world for generations. May this July 4th be a special time, perhaps a turning point, in renewing those ideas and convictions that brought the Founders together, which embodied a certainty that the rights of the people come from God, and not the state. It’s not about being reactionary or turning the clock back, but rather it’s about aligning our thinking and action with the inclusive ideas, principles, courage, and faith that enabled prior generations of Americans to overcome, advance and prosper more than any other people in human history.
Read the rest here.
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