“We The People…”

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Today’s “Picture of the Day” features Mr. Josh Hallett’s photograph of the original Declaration of Independence, the magnificently written document that signified to the world on July 4, 1776 that a new nation was about to break free from the rusty chains that bound our colonies to their mother country. On that very first Independence Day, the British Monarchy was served notice that it would no longer rule over the people of the United States of America, and our founding fathers risked their lives and fortunes in a valiant effort to make it so.

Thanks to the courage and perseverance of those great men and the rag-tag soldiers of the Continental Army, the most free and prosperous nation to ever inhabit planet earth would soon rise to the height of glory from the most humble of circumstances. And thanks to the brave men and women who have fought and died over the centuries in defense of our collective freedom, America is still the most free, powerful and envied nation on the planet.

While the Declaration of Independence was the document that asserted our God-given right to liberty, it is the U.S. Constitution that explains and guarantees those rights in explicit detail. And it is us, the American people who are responsible for safeguarding the integrity and unquestioned authority of that supremely important document. Any nation will remain free only so long as its citizens desire freedom and are willing to fight to the death to defend it. Let us never lose our will or ability to do just that.

It is said every year on the various patriotic holidays, but it’s just as true today as it has always been: Our freedom isn’t free. It was bought and paid for by the blood of our men and women in uniform, and they are still sacrificing life and limb today on battlefields far from home so that we can enjoy the freedoms asserted in the Declaration and delineated in the Constitution. They deserve our unwavering gratitude and respect.

This grand experiment in self-governance began on July 4, 1776, and it is still a work in progress. It has thus far been an amazing success. We owe it to our children and the generations to come to do everything within our power to keep it that way.

Happy Independence Day!