The History Column: Happy Independence Day
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Politics and Activism

The History Column: Happy Independence Day

A tribute to those who waged the war for American liberty.

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The History Column: Happy Independence Day
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"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."

~The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776

These words sum up just what the Americans were fighting for when the Revolutionary War began. It had not been the intention of the Founding Fathers or the American public to start an independent nation. They had been fighting for over a year what they called a "civil war." They had hoped to convince the British to recognize their rights as subjects of the Crown, and to restore the rights to self governance and economic freedom forcibly taken from them. When it became clear that the British had no intention of honoring the colonists' demands, a Congress convened to determine the next step in the war for freedom. The result was the that on July 4, 1776, fifty-six men signed a Declaration of Independence which they sent to the British, and a new nation was born.

And now, 243 years later, Americans are still reaping the benefits of the fight that our forefathers waged for our liberty. Today, we have more freedom than any other nation in the world. We today take for granted our right to vote, our right to free speech, our religious liberty. We are truly blessed to be born into a country where we are allowed to believe whatever we desire, make our own choices, determining our own futures.

Of course, America is not perfect. It never has been, and it never will be. And indeed, many of the freedoms we enjoy today are not only the work of the Founders, but of civil rights movements of marginalized minorities. But it is important to remember that none of these movements would have been possible had not the War for Independence been won, and civil rights activists fought only for the freedom which belonged to them as American citizens. They too held to the idea of a nation of equals, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

Today, the work of the Founders has granted us more liberties than even they could have thought possible. Since American Revolution, the civil rights movement of men like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the women's rights movement of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony have granted more granted more liberty to U.S. citizens than ever before. None of this, however, would have been possible if not for the high treason to the Crown committed by the American Founders. We reap the benefit of our forefathers' sacrifice, who fought and died for the protection and advancement of our liberty.

And so from Americans of today to Americans of yesterday: thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Paul Revere. Thank you to all the Founders. Thank you to the soldiers who fought for the freedom of their children, dying on the battlefield in the hopes that their children would one day wake up in a free nation. And thank you to the soldiers that continue to preserve that freedom. May we honor your sacrifice. God bless and Happy Independence Day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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