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Celebration: Remember what makes the United States unique

As Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence today, it is important to recall precisely what had the Founders so riled up, at the time.

They sought “certain unalienable rights, … among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness …”

But they were also incensed over the abusive government across the ocean. King George III and the Parliament of 1776 might find some kinship with the power, reach and intrusiveness of our government today. The Founders thought that might happen, however, and warned against governments that might — claiming it was for our own good — begin to whittle away at the ideals of the Declaration.

We are free to pursue happiness — we are not guaranteed it.

So today, as we celebrate the courage and forethought of those who signed their names on the Declaration of Independence and launched the American experience — we still are, truly, the land of the free and home of the brave — take a moment to remember it is our duty to resist those who would divide us; those who would seek out more freedom, rights and privileges for some, while taking away those same for others; those who would treat us like poor, ignorant colonists who need to be told what is best for us …

We are a nation of many religious traditions, many cultures, many ethnicities, men, women, young, old, rich, poor … founded on the principle that we ALL are created equal.

Today we celebrate that and the 243-year-old document that set it in motion.

Happy Independence Day, folks!

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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

— Ronald Reagan

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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.”

— Thomas Jefferson

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