Today is a special day, for it marks the day that a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was born. For over 236 years, the United States of America has been a beacon of light, of hope, and of freedom to the entire world. On this day, a radical new idea took root upon this continent:
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.
There are no words that adequately describe the amazing importance of this day, not just for us, but for the cause of liberty across the world. Even now, in our modern age, across the world, millions of men and women live in the silencing darkness of oppression. While we take this day of rest to enjoy a barbeque, lounge by a pool, join in a block party, and watch fireworks, many of our brethren across the world look to the heavens, not to see the celebratory fireworks of freedom, but rather, for any sign of relief from brutal totalitarian oppression.
So, as we celebrate our liberty, take some time to reflect on how fortunate we, as Americans, are to enjoy those precious gifts: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For millenia, men have strived to be free. On July 4, 1776, that dream, that lofty aspiration, that wonderful right, was realized, not just for a fleeting moment, but realized for good. For, as long as young American men and women are willing to raise their right hand and pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, freedom's survival is ensured.
If you look into the eyes of every man and woman, you will see what some call the soul, what others call a divine spark, and some call the inner light. But no matter what you call it, what you see is the natural order of things: that mankind was meant to be free, that within every one of us, is the simple irresistible impulse that liberty is our natural right. It is what Henley called our unconquerable soul.
On this day, our forefathers ensured that our destiny would be complete: that we would be free. On this Independence Day, as we enjoy our holiday, our block parties, our cold beers, and our fireworks, we should not only remember the brave men and women who have sacrificed upon the altar of freedom, who have given the last full measure of devotion for the cause of liberty, but we also should dedicate ourselves to the dream of July 4, 1776: that one day, there shall be a day, where all of mankind can look up the heavens, not out of despair, but with the satisfaction that we finally realized the grand dream that this republic was founded upon; that humanity will achieve its destiny, that all of us will have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Happy Independence Day!