Saturday, July 4, 2009
In a recent study done by the Goldwater Institute, students were asked sample questions from the U.S. Citizens and Immigration exam. Sadly, not many students passed.
One question hit home with me, as this weekend is the day we celebrate the founding of this country. The question was, “Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?”
Thomas Jefferson had the unenviable task of drafting a letter, an epistle, and a grand and bold statement to England that stated succinctly and effectively that tyrannical rule wasn’t acceptable. It’s because of Jefferson’s writing ability and the foresight of brilliant minds in the Second Continental Congress, that we celebrate this Saturday.
This weekend, do me a favor. In between having another burger, before you get into the pool or watch a spectacular fireworks display, remember what July 4th is really about.
This bold and grand experiment (called the United States of America) has succeeded, (no matter what other countries say) for better or worse for over 200 years. There is no denying that what happened in Independence Hall in Philadelphia was the work of great people, brilliant minds and divine intervention.
Think about it: words on a page. A short, but direct document, written by one man and generally agreed on by a group of people has gotten us to where we are today. I think Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton or Ben Franklin would be more than proud to see the way America has evolved, transformed and inspired not only its own people, but people around the world – based on one simple truth – that all men are created equal.
More importantly, on Saturday remember that from this document one of the most memorable lines ever written still resonates today: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Think about that when you’re downing another burger off the grill or enjoying friends and family. Think about how you have been pursuing your life, your liberty and have pursued your happiness. Then think of the impact of how one simple yet instrumental document has affected your life.
Have a Happy Fourth of July weekend.