Independence Day – LTE Jun. ’10

In just a couple of weeks we will celebrate July 4th. Sadly many youngsters and even some adults do not know why July 4th is a holiday. Over the years I have asked many kids and some young adults why it is a holiday and about half do not know the answer.

In all of history, there are few events as important and consequential as the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States of America. Every citizen should know that we celebrate July 4th as our nation’s birthday and that July 4, 1776, was the day when the Continental Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence.

I hope that all parents will teach their children the meaning of July 4th. It wouldn’t hurt for all of us to reread the preamble, which declares that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It continues by stating that the purpose of governments is to protect our natural rights and that when government “becomes destructive” of these rights, that the people have the right to “alter or to abolish” the government.

These words have become an inspiration to people around the world. Abraham Lincoln later borrowed the phrase “all men are created equal” for his Gettysburg Address. I wonder how many of today’s young people know that Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration, that he became our third President, and that he is honored with his face on the $5 bill?

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