I like that better than “Happy 4th of July,” which has no intrinsic meaning or significance.
236 years ago, the people took up arms against a VASTLY more powerful, better equipped, better trained, and more numerous British military force… defeated them and declared Independence from an oppressive government.
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.
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Do you REALLY know what’s in these documents?
Today is a good day to truly contemplate the power of a FREE PEOPLE. If you’ve never done it, it’s also a good time to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If you have… read them again.
He said, he said.
Some of my favorite quotes that are worth repeating on this day:
- “Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.” – John Adams
- “Washington didn’t use his right to free speech to defeat the British, he shot them.” – Unknown
- “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”– Thomas Jefferson
- “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
- “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” –James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
- ‘‘It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.’’ — Justice Robert H. Jackson
- “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams
- “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.” – Samuel Adams
- “If, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should ever deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution—certainly would, if such a right were a vital one.” – Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March, 1861
- “I am apt to believe that [the 4th of July] will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns*, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” –John Adams
* Just make sure you follow the four rules of safe gun handling! No celebratory firing of guns (in the air or at the ground)!