The document lays out the reasons why many of the English colonists in America desired a country of their own making. The founders were serious people and studied some of the traps in the forming of past governments. America, unlike many countries, is based on ideas; the notion in which each person coming from the womb or immigrating from elsewhere has certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Most individuals understand the concepts of life and liberty but misunderstand happiness. The word Thomas Jefferson used meant fulfillment, meaning governments exist so that each citizen can rise as far as talent might take them. All these concepts mean just as much today as they did during the founding perhaps more.
Once written down, the three ideas became enshrined in our countrys being and goals to achieve for all Americans. In fact, the people who didnt have certain political rights at the time of the founding knew those unalienable rights were there to contend for and aspire to. Those ideals had to become a reality for all Americans, not just a select few.
People are also reading
The words began a country which Gen. Douglas MacArthur called a beloved land of culture and ancient descent. Individuals from all faiths and backgrounds not only compose the fabrics of America but make the country stronger in the process.
As July 4 nears, we are measured by the people of history and the past. During Independence week, we are reminded of the work of many of the people who were emboldened by Jeffersons words and tried to stand on the concepts of the American creed. Women worked on the freedom to vote and minorities worked for better rights. That kind of work and struggle goes on.
Moreover, Independence Day should be an esteemed day for learning the history of the country which we do not know yet. We have a duty to keep learning history and learning about each other. We should be searching out the many contributions various kinds of Americans have made. There is no extreme nationalism in learning about the history of diverse Americans.
July 4 is a reminder we owe the Americans who came before us a little respect, appreciation and gratitude. The holiday also encourages us to live the political values which founded the country. We are asked to vote because countless people at the beginnings of the country did not have the opportunity to vote. We should endeavor to be good citizens because not every individual started out in the country with their citizenship granted. And we must serve because America at its best is a country which gives and provides. In this nation, people have many freedoms which are not protected in other countries.
And one must simply ask oneself: What kind of country could produce such fantastic individuals as Margaret Chase Smith, Harry Truman, Cesar Chavez, Charles Schulz, Billy Graham, Colin Powell, John Lewis, Fred Korematsu, Pauli Murray, Gertrude Ederlee, Sojourner Truth, and many others?
Some of these names are known, others not so much. Yet, when injustices presented themselves or when the government needed changing, they moved with ideas based on freedom and independence. They also marched with a freedom of will. They acted from freedom of conscience based on the concepts of life, liberty, and happiness.
The founding words of the country speak out to us. They are represented in the lives of slaves and freedmen who fought in the revolution, in the life and legacy of George Washington, in the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley, and the speeches of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Independence Day is a time to celebrate and remember the words and ideas Thomas Jefferson crafted in a two-room apartment in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. The document was accepted on July 2 and printed two days later, those declarations became precisely that. Gen. Washington ordered the text read out loud to his soldiers five days after the countrys first July 4. To hear them is to be reminded of the moment.
Life, liberty, and happiness also involves freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and a thousand other liberties enshrined in a proper republican government. And if the government seeks not to protect rights, it is the duty of the citizens to change it. That is a powerful concept still.
The rich and deep history of the country is an immense journey of discovery. It is hard not to be amazed to be living in a country which made so many great individuals with their own intellect, interests, and passions.
What kind of country could do this? A free one.
And we have a duty to keep it so for generations to come.
Brent Tomberlin is a social studies instructor at South Caldwell High School and at CCC&TI. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!
Go here to read the rest:
- Opinion/Bah: Defending democracy and freedom is more important now than ever - The Providence Journal - July 31st, 2022
- Saint Augustine's University Partners with Student Freedom Initiative to Receive $1.6 Million in Software and Services - Saint Augustine's University - July 31st, 2022
- The Freedom of a Carefree, Social Retirement at Wind Crest | YourHub - The Denver Post - July 31st, 2022
- Alankrita Shrivastava writes | Bra, unhooked: For that heaven of freedom - The Indian Express - July 31st, 2022
- The Resounding Right of Mutulu Shakur to Die in Freedom - CounterPunch - July 31st, 2022
- Friday Freedom Kicks: Wayne Rooneys watch begins Sunday, Washington Spirit returns to action tonight, and mo - Black And Red United - July 31st, 2022
- Will Ohio Attorney Don Yost join the fight for freedom of speech? - Portsmouth Daily Times - July 31st, 2022
- Slavery, Captivity and Freedom the story of Batavia's 'Other Henry Clay' - The Batavian - July 31st, 2022
- Black Bird review: A thrilling story of a bargain for freedom, and a fitting farewell to Ray Liotta - The Hindu - July 31st, 2022
- Postage stamp to be released to honour freedom fighter Ondiveeran - The Hindu - July 31st, 2022
- Freedom movement 2.0: Farmers hit the final nail in Trudeaus coffin - TFI Global News - July 31st, 2022
- Wednesday Freedom Kicks: A new DP (sort of), Loudoun United return to action, and more - Black And Red United - July 31st, 2022
- Stories of freedom fighters should be taken to every household: Raj Guv - Devdiscourse - July 31st, 2022
- The world must condemn Burmas execution of freedom fighters - The Hill - July 29th, 2022
- Having freedom to recover and pursue - The Robesonian - July 29th, 2022
- Maggie Rogers: Choice is the greatest sense of freedom - NME - July 29th, 2022
- What Should Freedom of Religion Look Like in Public Schools? - Northeastern University - July 29th, 2022
- ImagineIF Libraries to be awarded with the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award - Montana Right Now - July 29th, 2022
- Freedom House to open office in Taipei - Focus Taiwan - July 29th, 2022
- Increasing Assaults on Thomas Jefferson Ignore His Contributions - Daily Signal - July 29th, 2022
- Religious Freedom and the Respect for Marriage Act - Reason - July 29th, 2022
- Arizona Freedom Caucus hopes to be a force at the Capitol - Axios - July 29th, 2022
- Company exploiting post-pandemic freedom with automation solutions - Creamer Media's Mining Weekly - July 29th, 2022
- OPINION: What blinds Freedom Foundation to this gift? - Lewiston Morning Tribune - July 29th, 2022
- King: Do not insult, ridicule religions in the name of freedom of expression - The Borneo Post - July 29th, 2022
- Second Amendment has become distorted. Why do we defend it? - The Arizona Republic - July 29th, 2022
- Group behind St. Brigid's church purchase denies ties to 'Freedom Convoy', says it's about peace and love - CTV News Ottawa - July 29th, 2022
- Poilievre will need more than promises of freedom - The Globe and Mail - July 29th, 2022
- British gave India freedom to hate. We are staring at Partition violence again - ThePrint - July 29th, 2022
- Andrea Vance: How flawed freedom of information system keep the public in the dark - Stuff - July 29th, 2022
- WILL THAULT: Freedom Month Part 4: Freedom from fear | Local | albanyherald.com - The Albany Herald - July 25th, 2022
- Ohio University interim freedom of expression policy adopted to comply with new state law - Ohio University - July 25th, 2022
- Upcoming forum to explore meaning of 'freedom' - The Dispatch - The Commercial Dispatch - July 25th, 2022
- CM Punk & Jade Cargill Weigh In On Their Creative Freedom in AEW - 411mania.com - July 25th, 2022
- Burgess: Religious freedom is who we are - Chillicothe Gazette - July 25th, 2022
- Review: The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century, Jamie Susskind - The New York Times - July 25th, 2022
- Ethereum Freedom and Parisian Psychedelia: Reflections on EthCC - Crypto Briefing - July 25th, 2022
- Luis F Salazar and Digital Art: "I love giving the freedom for the observer to interpret my art" The European Times News - The European... - July 25th, 2022
- A Crop of New Novels About Race and Racism Finds Freedom in Satire - The New York Times - July 25th, 2022
- I'm proud to be an American because I've lived without freedom - Fox News - July 25th, 2022
- AAP passes off a Bangladeshi Islamic cleric as an Indian freedom fighter. Here is what happened - OpIndia - July 25th, 2022
- Wawa Welcome America to capture expressions of freedom in storytelling event - WHYY - June 30th, 2022
- North Texas LGBTQ people say they live between fear and freedom - The Dallas Morning News - June 30th, 2022
- The frightening implications of Justice Thomas press freedom dissent - The Hill - June 30th, 2022
- What the truck? The 'freedom convoy' protesters are heading back to Ottawa - The Conversation - June 30th, 2022
- For Many Women, Roe Was About More Than Abortion. It Was About Freedom. - The New York Times - June 30th, 2022
- Why it is the best of times and the worst of times for religious freedom - The Hill - June 30th, 2022
- Flags, Family and Freedom - Bay Weekly - June 30th, 2022
- Everything Happening For the Kids at Freedom Has a Birthday! - laramielive.com - June 30th, 2022
- Snake River Landing ready to welcome thousands for Riverfest, Melaleuca Freedom Celebration - East Idaho News - June 30th, 2022
- Compelled snitching? Oklahoma Christian's attack on free speech and academic freedom is worse than we realized - Foundation for Individual Rights in... - June 30th, 2022
- Last Freedom Rock being painted in Altoona - WHO TV 13 Des Moines News & Weather - June 30th, 2022
- First Freedom Fest is Friday in Lihu'e - The Garden Island - June 30th, 2022
- 5 Things Washington: 'Commitment to Reproductive Freedom,' Q&A w/ Vince Porter, 988 launch - State of Reform - State of Reform - June 30th, 2022
- Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015) - IMDb - June 29th, 2022
- Opinion: Let's win the messaging war on the freedom of abortion - The Connecticut Mirror - June 29th, 2022
- American freedom will be on the line this November - ncpolicywatch.com - June 29th, 2022
- America's obsession with freedom is making men fat: study - New York Post - June 29th, 2022
- Giants receivers excited about freedom of Brian Daboll's offense - Giants Wire - June 29th, 2022
- What would you have done if a freedom seeker had knocked on your door? - York Daily Record - June 29th, 2022
- Meta Showcases How the Metaverse Will Enhance Freedom of Expression - Social Media Today - June 29th, 2022
- Ehrhard: Liberty, freedom score wins at the Supreme Court - Boston Herald - June 29th, 2022
- Hundreds gather at Reproductive Freedom Rally in Midland - Midland Daily News - June 29th, 2022
- The Freedom of Imagining Yourself as a Fish - The Atlantic - June 29th, 2022
- Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom looking for 356K signatures to get abortion initiative on the ballot - FOX 10 News Phoenix - June 29th, 2022
- The Homefront: Learning to love 'the sound of freedom' - Standard-Examiner - June 29th, 2022
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Freedom is gone - The Stanly News & Press | The Stanly News & Press - Stanly News & Press - June 29th, 2022
- Newton celebrates Juneteenth as 'a day of freedom and reflection' - The Boston Globe - June 29th, 2022
- West Coast States Launch New Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom, Standing United on Protecting Abortion Access | California Governor -... - June 29th, 2022
- Shell Freedom Over Texas Returns to In-Person Celebration - Houstonia Magazine - June 29th, 2022
- Tuesday Freedom Kicks: MLS Team of the Week, USWNT plays tonight, and more - Black And Red United - June 29th, 2022
- Freedom in the West, but not for women - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - June 29th, 2022
- Sophomore Wins SEJ Press Freedom Award - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas - University of St. Thomas Newsroom - June 29th, 2022
- Ensuring media freedom and safety of journalists requires urgent concrete action backed by political will: UN expert - OHCHR - June 29th, 2022
- International artist paints 'Just a Piece of Freedom' mural in Old Saybrook with local helpers - CT Insider - June 29th, 2022
- 'They made the choice for freedom': Sen. Mike Lee celebrates GOP primary win over Edwards and Isom - Salt Lake Tribune - June 29th, 2022
- Unsurprisingly, books about abortion and reproductive freedom are in high demand. - Literary Hub - June 29th, 2022
- George Michael and the High Price of Freedom - Jezebel - June 29th, 2022
- Freedom to Read Celebration, Supporting the Merritt Fund, and Featuring Banned Author David Levithan - ala.org - June 18th, 2022
- Angola Tries Out Freedom Of The Press, But Will They Go All In? Analysis - Eurasia Review - June 18th, 2022