An Act of Treason!

In 1776, a small group of revolutionaries committed an act of treason in writing and signing the Declaration of Independence. For this crime, many lost everything, including their lives. And yet, their Great Cause was supported by a hodgepodge of rag-tag soldiers willing to fight the most powerful military force in the world. They pressed on through brutal years of hardship and endured a long series of defeats. For on that infamous 4th Day of July, a new principle had been born into the world... an everlasting standard of human dignity and liberty: “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."

With this abiding faith and against all odds, these despised revolutionaries and ill-equipped soldiers prevailed. The courage and commitment of a few redirected the course of history in so many magnificent ways... shining light into a dark world. Like Abraham Lincoln, we yearn for this "new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Today, upon this rock of remembrance, we return to our wellspring of Life and Liberty for the sake of our youngest citizens… those in “self-evident” need of our great legacy of moral imagination and its ability to empower the human spirit. Today, we firmly stand upon our Founding Principles!

Since its first reading in 1776, countless brave and often nameless souls have fought, bled and died for these enduring principles. Dr. Martin Luther King compelled all Americans to remember our founding document and to “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” If we are going to accomplish Dr. King’s dream (particularly in the inner city), our children must first know what our creed is! Today, we restore the beacon of truth that inspires the heart, mind, and soul. Today, our children can think anew within the paradigm of possibility… and be illumined by the still "self-evident truths" that kindle vision, purpose, and abiding hope.

Like our Founders, we are free to proclaim that all people are “Created equal” and are endowed with “inalienable rights” by a Power above all human power… “their Creator.” It is right and proper that we declare our allegiance and reliance upon the founding principles that gave birth to an enduring Constitutional Republic that derives her “just powers from the consent of the governed,” not the edicts of kings and tyrants. “The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” likewise require us to open the doors of Freedom within our public schools... allowing students to stand upon the shoulders of giants... inspiring them to seize their own greatness. Today, all students are free to think and speak without intimidation or coercion. Today, the worldview of our Founders will not be disparaged or deemed out-of-bounds. Today, in all facets of the educational endeavor, "Reasoned Respect" is provided to all citizens.

Today, with steadfast optimism and great anticipation, we come together as Americans... to be “One Nation, under God, Indivisible... with Liberty and Justice for all.” Today, let us create the best schools in the world! Today, we hear President Lincoln's closing words echoing, "That we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Today, we seize this gift of great price and the blessed opportunities therein. Today, we reclaim our duties as citizens!

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