July 4 has always been one of my favorite times of the year. It is a day rife with history and rightfully full of revelry. As an American, I am proud of our nation’s unlikely beginning. It would have been hard to produce a better storyline than how this country came into being. The courage of our Founding Fathers was and still is astounding by any historical marker. And, although our democratic principles have been tested many times over the past 237 years, our country does continue to persevere and protect why we were founded in the first place as written in The Declaration of Independence:
“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…”
Wendell Willkie, a man who famously challenged Franklin Delano Roosevelt for President in 1940 and then later became his informal global goodwill ambassador trumpeting American values, had the following sentiment inscribed on a marker by his grave:
“I believe in America because in it we are free–
free to choose our government, to speak our minds,
to observe our different religions.
Because we are generous with our freedom,
we share our rights with those who disagree with us.
Because we hate no people and covet no people’s lands.
Because we are blessed with a natural and varied abundance.
Because we have great dreams and because we have the
opportunity to make those dreams come true.”
These words resonated with me the moment I read them. The Great American Experiment,” as Alexis de Tocqueville first termed it almost two hundred years ago, is alive and well…Every July 4 affirms this fact.
Happy Independence Day!
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- Celebrating America’s Freedom: July 4th (goodtimestories.wordpress.com)