The scene is the Continental Congress July 4th, 1776 as the thirteen colonies announce they are now independent states.
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 war between the colonies and Britain waged on for over a year before that glorious day in July.
Thomas Jefferson had said (Nov. 29, 1775):
Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.This most cherished documented is the greatest symbol of liberty. The concept of individual freedom was not new, but what the Jefferson draft provided was self-evident truths.
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it willDeliverance indeed.
cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance. - John Adams
Jefferson presented Natural Law instead of "natural rights theory" substituting "the pursuit of happiness" for property as an inalienable right. The emphasis shifted from personal choice to public service.
After listing the grievances with the King, the official Declaration is made:
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.—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.
The greatest document is forged.
So beyond the fireworks, parades and hot dogs is the birth of this country. As we look at the toils of the world we should recognize that these men sacrificed their reputations, fortunes and lives to make a dream come alive....America.