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Story Archives: Celebrating freedom
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America will celebrate its birthday Friday, July 4.
It was more than 230 years ago that delegates from the 13 colonies gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence, an act which gave birth to the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence was then, and remains today, a revolutionary document. No longer did the people exist to serve a royal master.
After the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it was the people themselves who were to be served by a representative government.
Governments were created to serve the people, "…deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…"
On this July 4, we have much to celebrate as these United States of America have grown from humble beginnings to become one great and united nation of some 300 million souls.
The experiment in democratic rule born on July 4, 1776, has evolved into the United States of America becoming the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the world.
But more than just simple celebration is in order on July 4.
Vigilance. Vigilance. Vigilance.
As free citizens in a democratic society, we must exercise eternal vigilance to guarantee the promise of freedoms set forth so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence.
In today's world, more and more power is being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people, and history has shown us that power often corrupts.
Those in power often act in a manner which allows them to enhance and maintain their power while thinking little of what is actually best for the people they serve.
Those delegates to the Second Continental Congress meeting so long ago in Philadelphia declared their independence from England, in part, because of "… a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations…"
Simply put, they charged the King of England with abusing his power. He governed as he saw fit without the consent of the governed.
Now more than ever, we must be vigilant and concerned citizens.
If the ship of state drifts off course, we must do more than passively sit back and rely on our elected officials to set the ship straight. Instead, we must take responsibility for ourselves. We must be our own guardians.
As citizens of this great Republic, we must jealously guard the personal freedoms promised in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States.
More than 230 years after the birth of this country, we still celebrate the birth of this great nation as we should do. We also must continue to guard against the abuses of power.
Our government was created to serve the people and serve the people it should.