Thomas Jefferson is largely credited with writing the Declaration of Independence, agreed upon by the colonial Congress in signature and spirit.
As the Declaration circulated through the American colonies and arrived in Great Britain, the rogue American leaders became the most wanted men in the known world. War was already afoot, but this document captured the spirit and tenacity of the American Revolution.
There was no turning back. There was no king who would ever again rule over the Americans, even upon the threat of death.
The tone of speeches and articles penned by the inspirational leaders of the Revolution captured the emotions and deep feeling of many people in the colonies. At the same time, the blunt challenges to British rule were viewed as shocking insolence across the ocean.
As the world’s super power in that, age the British were confident they could crush the insurrection. But a ragtag gathering of farmers and townsfolk had other ideas at Lexington and Concord.
The war would be long, with the cause of freedom often in doubt.
America eventually gained its independence, with timely assistance from France. George Washington, the able leader of American troops, became president.
The celebrations that followed the British surrender were spirited affairs with fireworks and feasting.
While the early years of the United States were difficult, out of the debates and arguments came the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and a foundation for personal liberty and freedom that would eventually lead the nation to stand as a union, to overthrow the institution of slavery, and finally end most discriminatory practices in government and society.
The union has never been perfect, but it’s widely acclaimed around the world as better than anything that exists. As Americans, we have fought each other, stood up for others around the world who were persecuted, and brought an end to many tyrannical governments that oppressed and murdered millions of people.
Our strength remains in the determination and wisdom of our Founders who recognized that the Creator made all people in equal value, and that government should be for the people and by the people.
We still find the establishment and purpose of our nation an inspiring story that continues to play out. No one person has control over the lives of Americans because our direction and existence is a collective effort of the people. It’s part of what makes the United States of America great.
Today, we hope everyone has a safe and meaningful Independence Day. Our nation remains a beacon of hope for the world and that’s worth remembering and celebrating every day.