Okay, so I realize it isn’t Independence Day for the whole world. However, it is in America. so I felt it appropriate to mark it’s passing.
As I mentioned in the notes for the CerebralMix this week, this is the day we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1776. At the time our founding fathers were very high-minded about the ideal model for the new country, writing:
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
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.
While these high minded ideals might seem to have weakened in value over time, they are still the core beliefs of the American people, no matter what our government or leaders chose to do. We all have our beliefs about the things that are wrong with our country, we all know that it could be better and want it to be better. We know that countries around the world view us in different ways.
And yet, in the end, these are the ideals we strive for. The ideals that we hold dearest to us as a nation. The ideals that we think can bring the most benefit throughout the world. In the end we are patriotic to our country and the ideals set forth by our founding fathers.
So, we celebrate with fireworks, and picnics, and other activities. It may seem a bit removed from the ideals our forefathers set out, but it’s merely symbolism. A way of marking and celebrating those ideals.