Today is Independence Day, the day on which a group of brave patriots banded together to put an end to the madness of King George. Here is an excerpt from today's Writer's Almanac, describing Thomas Jefferson's intent behind one of the world's most famous essays: He described the task in a letter to a friend, saying, "The object of the Declaration [is] not to find out new principles, or new arguments... but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.... [It is] intended to be an expression of the American mind."
It was no small feat in 1776 to rise up against the established government and say "enough," and it's still difficult today. However, "when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another," push does, eventually come to shove.
Elections will be coming up soon where I am, and probably wherever you are as well. Please register to vote, and urge your friends, relations and co-workers to do so also. Become politically involved. Most importantly, vote. If you won't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
Take a few moments today and read this, preferably aloud, and preferably to someone who hasn't heard it yet. It's important every now and then to refresh our memory and bring close again the reasons and principles the founders of this country had in mind when they first conspired to foment rebellion. This document is guaranteed to rile, and should still inspire the same fiery emotions in 2007 that it did in 1776.
Have a great day--it's Independence Day.
It's also my brother Doug's birthday! A big shout-out to him...perhaps there'll be fireworks in your honor?