May the Fourth be with you...

Happy Fourth of July, Token Female friends!

The Declaration of Independence was ratified July 4, 1776

I’ve missed you so much. But l’ve been thinking a lot, and biting back a lot of vitriol.

But l’m living by the message l teach in my Proofreading Class at the Discovery Center every other month: words live forever on the Internet. So l’ve been weighing my words carefully, making sure l’m saying exactly what l want to live on after me.

Otherwise, fireworks of all kinds will surely ensue for me and mine.

Yep. Fireworks may ensue!

So here goes…

This holiday celebrates our nation… The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. A chill always goes up my spine as l sing those words.

I think of how our ancestors fought and died for these freedoms. How the Declaration of Independence established our separation from England’s oppressive grip.

Today in 1776, the Congressional Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence.

And as noted by our National Archives:

It states the principles on which our government, and our identity as Americans, are based. Unlike the other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding, but it is powerful. Abraham Lincoln called it “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.” It continues to inspire people around the world.

And the ideals it espouses! So radical for time. As the Preamble states:

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.

You can split hairs times infinity over which people were meant to have these basic human rights. It was my understanding/interpretation that if you lived in the United States, they were yours.

And the purpose of our government? According to the National Archives‘ explanation of the Declaration:

The only reason to have a government is to protect these basic human rights, which Jefferson lists as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

No wonder people are inspired to come here. Who wouldn’t want that?

As Woody Guthrie wrote:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me”

Today, and everyday, keep these ideals close to your heart. Rise above the noises that ‘otherize’ and demonize. And declare your personal Independence from the negative forces that would tear us away from each other.

Because the Declaration of Independence is for you. May the Fourth be with you, now and always!

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