July 4th has become more than a celebration of our nation’s Independence from the British under the leadership of King George III. July 4th commemorates passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. The Declaration was document designed to justify the formation of a new country and record the grievances that validated that cause of action.
The political philosophy behind the document was not uniquely American it had European roots. The idea of individual liberties can be found in the writings of Continental philosophers like John Locke. It was however an American patriot, Thomas Jefferson that drafted the Declaration of Independence and brought to life a nation founded in the philosophy of individual freedom as a right of man and not ordained by government.
In the now famous line, “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.” Jefferson clearly established the foundation of human rights as coming from our creator and not from a governmental body or king. Our rights come from our creator, which is a belief that can not be separated from our government.
Today across the world, men and women yearn for the freedoms we too often take for granted in America. Our freedom has come at a cost of past generations with the sacrifice of sons and daughters. Today this country is engaged in a war with terrorists that believe our “unalienable rights” should be restricted and our way of life and individual freedoms should be abolished. Today a new generation of Americans is sacrificing daily in far off lands to preserve and protect our freedoms. Men and woman serving this nation so that your daughters can attend school, your family can attend a worship service and mom and dad can provide an environment for raising their family, we are blessed by the freedoms so eloquently declared in our Declaration of Independence and bravely protected by yet another generation of Americans.
Please take a few minutes today to reflect on all that freedom means to you, your family and your United States of America. Stop for just a moment and talk about what this day really means with those you celebrate with and keep our sons and daughters in far off lands in your thoughts. Tonight your rockets red glare and fountains of celebration will be in celebration and yet in far off lands they will be rockets aimed at loved ones protecting your freedom. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers today.