The Declaration of Dependence ©

On July 4, 1776, our nation’s Founders gave us the priceless gift of The 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.” We have heard these words before but have never understood their full meaning. These words uncovered a truth that had always been available, but no society had ever completely comprehended. The world has never been the same.

Our nation will never be perfect as it can only be made up of imperfect people. Thankfully, The Declaration remains a renewing wellspring of strength and inspiration. In a world that has known so much darkness, America has been a brilliant beacon of light. We have certainly had more than our share of heroes to guide us. Today, we choose to join this “shining city on a hill” that we might continue to declare these founding principles. Though many say that these ideals are merely matters of personal opinion, we resoundingly reject this cowardly notion. These truths are still self-evident to all who are willing to see!

Today, there is much in the world to make us feel hopeless and helpless: fear, ignorance, apathy, and a profound sense of meaninglessness. Today, we must choose, and our choice is clear; we will seize the timeless standard of The Declaration. Right now, we recognize the precious gifts we were given. We honor those who lived and even died for these principles. We reflect upon who our forefathers were so we can best become who we really are. We yearn to be the person we were meant to be. We shout for joy, as abiding hope is within our grasp!

As we are all Created equal, we must respect the sanctity of human life. We are neither a random accident nor a muddle of genetic traits; rather, each of us is an essential treasure. When something is created, it is done so for a purpose. We commit ourselves to seeking, and ultimately finding, this special purpose. Amidst the noise of the world, a still, small voice is calling our names. As our Founders understood, there will be consequences for genuine valor, but we will be brave. With an unwavering faith in our founding principles, we stand up!

In doing what is right, we will always have a majority of one. Together, we will fight the good fight with a host of warriors. Their names echo in the wind: Washington, Jefferson, Adams... and so many, many more. Hand-in-hand we feel the longing of many hearts: a mother hugging her son as he goes off to join other young patriots, a farmer steadfastly working his field as he hungers for amber waves of grain, a merchant risking all of his savings to open a small country store, a teacher taking extra time with her students so that their minds might be opened to the great ideas of literature. On July 8, 1776, a former slave heard a loud clanging of bells from the tower of Independence Hall. He ran to see what was taking place, arriving just in time to hear the first public reading of The Declaration. The words brought tears to his eyes, joy to his heart, and enduring resolve to his soul. He was, and is, the embodiment of the American Dream. That bell of liberty is now cracked and silent, but its message forever rings!

Our struggles are never in vain; goodness is never wasted. Truth will always prevail because we are not alone. In closing their majestic document, The Founders declared, “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” Today, we join the cause of our Founders. With faith and conviction, we solemnly sign our names.

©2001 Jamie Aiken

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