The following was sent in by a reader:
By Roger Hypes
Remember when the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? This week, I started looking at what the entire document has to say. In school, it was a usual occurrence to memorize the part that went like this: “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.” Reading on down, I counted eighteen “He” start of sentences listing wrongs the the King was placing on the colonies such as He has refused, He had forbidden, He has dissolved, He has obstructed, etc. Later, the writers started some sentences with “For” as shown: For cutting off, For imposing taxes, For depriving us, For taking away our Charters, For suspending, etc.
Remember when the last time we took so seriously the value of the 4th of July and the independence and freedoms that were brought about and for 236 years, we have enjoyed all that it represents? Not only has this been a blessing and benefit to us, but a model for the entire world. Nations have envied. Some have endeavored to copy or pattern after. Other nations have tried to destroy all that it represents.
Thomas Jefferson made a statement: “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”
Lee Greenwood sung these words: “And I’m proud to be an American, Where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, and who gave that right to me.”
John F. Kennedy said: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
Remember when you took inventory of how precious the freedom, liberty, and independence means to you as an individual? We take so much of this for granted. I cannot imagine not living in these United States of America and enjoying all that this country has. I have traveled to Europe, Canada, and third world countries. The beauty of this country, the people, and the uniqueness of what America has become continues to amaze me… from sea to shining sea; from the rivers, lakes mountains, canyons, farmland and countryside.
We use the 4th of July as not only holiday, but most are able to enjoy a week of vacation. That usually means reunions, visit of national parks, picnics, and recreational activities such as boating, hiking, riding, swimming, racing, fireworks, and other festive and entertaining things. When folks live as close to the mountains and ocean as we, in Locust, do the choices are innumerable. There is a verse in the Bible that simply states “I thank God of all remembrance of you.” This was a writer expressing sentiments to a church that he had visited. I challenge each of us to be thankful for all that went into the events leading up to and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Read the document (it is not that long), but the pain-staking and the twenty-five cent words that are used are amazing to such a layman as myself, but definitely as John Hancock said as he was signing the American Declaration of Independence “There, I guess King George will be able to read that.”