Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 4th, 1776

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.

On July 4th, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies under British rule in North America signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, and became a nation. Though battles with the British had already been fought, and patriots had already died, this was the beginning of the United States of America, as a nation. The men who signed it knew that they signed their death warrant for treason, should the revolution fail.

I won't delve into the particulars of the text-there are so many more with far more knowledge of it than I have. The quote above sums up what I feel is the most important part: that each man be given an equal chance in the world. Everyone born is entitled to their life, and the freedom to live their life as they so choose. It is for life and freedom that I fight for now-for Americans back home, plagued by the shadow of terrorism, of men who would take their lives and and freedom from them. I fight for Iraqis, that they may know the prosperity and the chance of a long and productive life.

The pursuit of happiness does not guarantee happiness-it is a fact often overlooked. Everyone, however, has a right to seek it out, regardless of where or how you were born, your social class, or the money that you have. No person, nor any government, can take that quest away from you.

These items in the Declaration of Independence were predecessors to the Bill of Rights in our constitution, which came later on in our history, but are no less sacred. A *right* cannot be taken away, revoked, or restricted. Our rights are not granted to us by the government, but a product of birth. The governments job is simply to provide the framework so that our rights remain in place-lest the strong arm of tyranny take control. It seems that some of our elected officials, not even 250 years later, have forgotten this. They seem to think that it is their job to regulate our rights, and tell us what is best for us, like over-protective parents. This attitude must change, or our rights may quickly become "privileges" for the favored, and ruling class. Isn't that why the United States was formed the first time?

**I do not advocate revolution, or any violent actions against the government! I'm simply noting that our rights must be protected from those who can't understand what a right is!**

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