Independence Day, always celebrated on July 4, should be a significant day for every loyal citizen of the United States of America. Since 1776, the day has been enthusiastically celebrated throughout this land with flourishes of oratory, big parades and dazzling displays of fireworks. This celebrating is the response of grateful citizens who appreciate the work of the 56 founding fathers who risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to prepare and sign the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence is a short document with long and lasting effects. The document broke relations between Great Britain and the 13 original American colonies and became, as Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, the foundation of “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Beyond the oratory, the parades and the fireworks, there is another, and maybe, a more meaningful way to experience the significance of Independence Day. The special day can, and should, be observed with a period of quiet reflection upon the Declaration of Independence and its significance. The noble document, 236 years old, is short — it contains a mere 1,346 word that can be read in a few minutes. But those powerful words say much to those who take the time to read and think about them.
The historic document affirms that all persons “are created equal.” Therefore, no one has a superior rank. Everyone is “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and “Governments are instituted among men” to secure these rights. These governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” When “any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government.” Then, there is an underlying principle: ”Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”
These basic principles are the solid foundation of our country. So may it ever be.