John Hancock, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and all the others who later signed the document that was first approved on July 4, 1776. Think for a minute about the risk the signers of the Declaration of Independence took. They knew that the English would view this act as treason. They knew that if caught they would be hanged. They knew that this document would plunge the nation into war and that soldiers and other Americans would die. These risks had to be a heavy psychological burden, and yet they found the courage within themselves to take this momentous step.
As John Adams said, "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
When I started thinking about this post, I also remembered American Poet Walt Whitman who said, "The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people."
Adams challenged Americans to use their freedom to "dare to read, think, speak, and write." Thanks to the risk that he and the other founders took, bloggers are free to do that every day. July 4th is no exception.
To celebrate this great holiday, Barry the Barbarian posts an excellent article which posits that the American Declaration of Independence was a "profoundly American" and spiritual document.
Andy has a beautiful picture of a silhouetted cross on the American flag created by light shining through.
Buck posts the complete Declaration of Independence.
Paul at mean ol' meany points out that the original Declaration "declared our independence from an oppressive regime in England," but that today we seem hellbent on letting our government enslave us. He also has lots and lots of good links.
My own contribution today is a video remembering and honoring our military. Once the Declaration of Independence was signed and sent to England, the founders knew war with England would follow.
Adopting the Declaring of Independence on July 4, 1776, meant immediately building an army to protect the fledgling independent and free country from the invading British.
Keeping that independence and freedom over the years has required the use of military force. So as we celebrate today, July 4, 2010, and remember that precious document and those courageous founders, let's also remember the soldiers, airmen, and sailors who put their lives on the line today to protect that freedom and independence that we cherish and exercise daily.