Everything Bremerton: Let freedom ring, it's Independence Day!

“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.

— From the Declaration of Independence

These are powerful words put to paper by men who considered themselves to be quite ordinary for their time. But whom we, later grateful generations of United States citizens, find to be beyond extraordinary and exceptional for what they eventually accomplished. Men, who by signing the document that contained these very words, put their families, their fortunes and their lives at risk for an idea of independence, self-governance and individual freedom. Ideas that were unheard of for the time in which they lived.

Like many other average Americans, in these past couple of years I have experienced a renewed interest in better educating myself on the founding of our country and its history. I feel that the answers to many of our nation’s current dilemmas are found in the successes and failures of our past. I did not embark on this historical re-education process simply for my own personal benefit but for the benefit of my 9-year-old son as well. I can see now how horribly incomplete my generation’s public school education on the history of the United States really was. I can see it happening to my son’s generation as well. I cannot pass on to him what I do not know myself. This motivates me to improve my own historical knowledge in a wide variety of ways.

How many of you have read the Declaration of Independence lately? Or the Constitution for that matter? Maybe now is the time to dust them off, show them some respect and give them a read. It is helpful to re-establish and re-familiarize ourselves with one document that opened the door to the many freedoms we have today and to the other document which contains the most basic rights used to run and govern the core foundation of our daily lives.

Here is to a joyful and educational Independence Day. Let freedom ring.

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