Saturday, July 4, 2009

Declaration, Democracy, and Demi-Gods

The Declaration of Independence is a remarkable document. Have you read it? It's amazing. (Text) Jefferson really knew what he was talking about- he knew how to write in a manner that conveyed the sentiments of the Congress and (most) inhabitants in the Colonies.

And then I think about the men who put it all together... they were just men. They had their flaws, they were imperfect. But they have been elevated and put on this pedestal (and rightfully so in my opinion). They are demi-gods of American History. Their words, actions and audacity have sparked inspiration enough for men and women to fight countless wars. Even after 233 years, their words resonate with our nation and inspire democracy. It really boggles my mind that a few men put this document together- it is so inspired.

courtesy of Wikipedia

Some of my favorite quotes from the Declaration of Independence:
  • That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (yes!! Democracy at it's finest!!!)
  • But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
  • Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren... We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
  • And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Mutually pledge to each other our Lives... WOW! That is huge statement, and haunting. It makes me feel connected to something bigger and greater. We really should be proud to be Americans.

Did you know?
  • Congress voted on and declared Independence on July 2
  • Both John Adams (second president) and Thomas Jefferson (third president) died on July 4, 1826-- the fiftieth anniversary
  • James Monroe (fifth president) died on July 4, 1831 (five years after Adams and Jefferson)
  • The last person to sign the Declaration was on January 1777
  • July 4th was not declared a national holiday until 1941
  • George Washington was about 6'2 (average height in the late eighteenth century was 5'7)

Maybe I will watch the Patriot tonight. (I love that movie).

1 comment:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Nice post. Yes we have a lot of which to be proud.
Tonight on PBS is saw a 30 minute preview of the new Ken Burns movies about our national parks. Now that also is something for which we should be thankful & proud. It wonderful that our ancestors looked ahead to the preservation of these special parts of our country, our heritage.