On a walk this morning through my hometown, I passed by a Historic house that I’ve seen many times– the George Taylor House, signer of the Declaration of Independence. This July 4th, 2020, made me wonder how much our Founding Fathers had to be willing to give in their quest for Freedom? Would we as present-day Americans be willing to give the same to maintain our freedom if it is required at any time in the future?

In celebration of Independence Day, I decided to “google” the Declaration of Independence to remind myself of the gift we have been given and what actions could be called upon any one of us in order to maintain our Freedom and Human Rights:

During the 2nd Congress, July 4, 1776, the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, 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 when any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or 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…source: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

We are reminded in the closing statement of the document what the signers of the Declaration were willing to give:

“…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.”

Wow!

Even after this amazing Declaration was signed, our country had to continue to fight for freedom and human rights for all people. For example, it was not until 1865 that slavery was abolished in the US (13th Amendment) and not until August 1920 that women received the Right to Vote (19th Amendment)–only 100 short years ago! Even with that, we still have work to do to fully eradicate human trafficking (modern day slavery) and according to payscale.com, women continue to earn less than men. The fight for freedom and human rights does not stop.

Back in November 2018, I attended a US Global Leadership Coalition Summit in Wilmington, Delaware and heard some fabulous closing remarks by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and former Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee where Corker said about the United States: We have our problems, but we are still the greatest nation on earth and we are the force that raises everyone else up.

Today we celebrate that greatness! Happy Birthday America!!

Post by: Ellen Firestone, July 4, 2020

Published July 4, 2020