Wednesday, July 4, 2012
To Be Free!
By: Mike Foil
July 4, 1776; was like any other day across the thirteen colonies along the eastern part of North America. For most people, who were subjects of the British Crown, it was business as usual. There was a level of tension at various locations among the colonies, such as in Boston; but to the majority of the population, it was an ordinary day; that is, with a most notable exception.
In Philadelphia, a gathering of men were reading over the final version of a document which had the potential of setting their world on fire. These men had concluded that the only way for them, their families and friends, and fellow countrymen to experience self-government and liberty was to declare the colonies to be free and independent states. It was, in fact, a declaration of war with England.
The Declaration of Independence launched what became known as the “American experiment.” It set America on a path unlike any prior nation. Central to this experiment were the concepts of inalienable rights and self-government. They not only ventured into unexperienced territory, politically; they declared that the truths, on which the foundation was being built, were obvious and undeniable.
These men acknowledged that God, the creator, is the source of their rights; and that these rights, as such, cannot be taken away by another. Among these inseparable rights are the right to life, the right to live free and the right for individuals to be free to pursue their own happiness.
In order to protect the individual’s rights, the people formed a government which would obtain its limited powers only by the consent of those people it would govern.
These men acted out of conviction as each was keenly aware that by affixing his signature to that declaration, it could cost them everything. Still, they willingly pledged to each other, “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Why would they take such a dangerous step? Because, they trusted in God for their protection and believed He was leading them in the pursuit of liberty.