In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, a nervous but courageous gathering of colonial statesmen met in Philadelphia and debated the idea that the time had come to break with England and set up a new nation based on the concept that power came from the people not the government. This was a radical idea in the 18th century (and still is). They knew that their “declaration” would put their lives and fortunes at risk but in their minds liberty mattered more—not just theirs but all of their countrymen and those who would come after them.
Today, America stands as a standard of personal liberty and individual responsibility—a shining example of what a people may achieve if left alone. The freedoms you and I have and the prosperity we enjoy is a fragile thing. It was when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. It was during the Civil War. It was during World War II. Every great period of history has tested the fragility of our liberty and discovered the truth that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
As we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, let us celebrate those who overcame the dangers of their age to birth and preserve the United States and pledge to do the same in our day!