This year marks the two-hundred and fortieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We commemorate this occasion with much pride and patriotism; we spend it celebrating and enjoying time with our friends and families. While such festivities are appropriate for remembering the birth of our great nation, let us also join in reflecting upon what exactly has made this country of ours so great.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence was an important moment for Americans and ultimately, for all of mankind. Thomas Jefferson wrote the powerful words: “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.” These words not only inspired patriots across the country to fight for Independence, but also served as a beacon of light to the rest of the world, an anchor of truth in the idea that all men are created equal.
In chaotic times, it is easy to forget what binds Americans together in the midst of so much political division. It is the principles in the Declaration of Independence and the just law of the U.S. Constitution that unifies us as fellow countrymen. President Calvin Coolidge once said that Americans should always be comforted and encouraged by the “confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken.”
These two documents inspire our patriotism and give us a sense of pride for our unique form of government. I encourage everyone to take the time to read the Declaration with your families this Independence Day and to consider the beautiful principles and divine providence which formed our great nation.
This Independence Day, let us be encouraged as we remember that which brings us together and makes us strong. Let us all be grateful for the document which led to our nation’s founding and has allowed us to raise our children in freedom, to worship freely, and to live just and moral lives. I wish you and your families a blessed Fourth of July!