May we never forgetPublished 10:12pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Committees are famous for failing to accomplish much, but the committee of five men charged with writing the Declaration of Independence in 1776 succeeded in penning a document that would change history.
The only thing that was certain at the time for the 56 men who eventually signed the Declaration was that they were pledging their very lives to the cause of independence. If the 13 British colonies in America failed to secure their separation from British rule in the war their words would inevitably ignite, those men knew they would be hunted to their deaths.
But the cause was just, and farmers, shopkeepers and a few great statesmen sacrificed their comfortable lives for the ideals put forth in that document and for the hope those words represented. Their sacrifices paved the way for a great nation that still serves as a beacon of hope for many today.
Today, as we celebrate the 237th anniversary of this nation, let us remember the words that constituted the core of the great document that was as much a declaration of principles as a Declaration of Independence:
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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
May we never forget these founding principles.