Happy 237th birthday America! Many of us marked this Fourth of July by spending time with family enjoying barbecues, parades, and fireworks, and I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what we were celebrating. On July 4, 1776, 237 years ago, our forefathers declared their independence and created a new nation. On that day, 56 representatives in General Congress declared "that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…" and thus was born the United States of America.
Thomas Jefferson drafted the declaration of independence that set our country free from a tyrannical king and in fewer than 1,500 words he created an enduring document which remains the foundation of our nation today. More than two centuries later, the ideals and individual liberties set forth in the Declaration of Independence continue to serve our people and make the United States of America the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Please take a few minutes to read the opening words of this historic document that has shaped our nation:
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. - Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
As you celebrate our nation’s independence, I urge you to take care in all that you do. Drink responsibly – remember law enforcement agencies will participate in a special statewide enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving through the holidays. Take the necessary precautions when boating or swimming – never leave children unattended. Don’t overdo it in the heat. Be alert to changing weather. Most importantly, enjoy time with your family and friends. Happy Independence Day to all!
Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.