You will see the words in many places on many sites today. But this day, of all of them, take the time to really read them, and understand their context. The words were written by highly educated men who stood to gain most (except liberty) by not writing them, and lose all by signing the document that contained them. Along with Lincoln’s speeech at Gettysburg, and his Second Inaugural, our Constitution’s preamble, Martin Luther King’s great oratory, and the Inaugural words of John Kennedy, these words are American political scripture. And despite only being two sentences in length, they comprise the greatest political treatise ever written by man;
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 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.
Our precious freedoms are the envy of the civilized world, and the nemesis of the uncivilized. With all the time for family and friends, hot dogs and fireworks, say a prayer of thanks for these blessings, and for those of courage who secured them over the 235 years of this nation’s existence.
Happy Independence Day!