We bet you thought we were going to deliver another solemn lecture about Liberty paid in Blood and such things. Well, no one should ever forget that freedom is most definitely not free. The Colonies had been warring with Great Britain for more than a year before the Declaration of Independence was ever signed, and KIng George III took the signatures on the document to be tantamount to confessing high treason against the Crown.
So rather, I would ask that everyone read the Declaration of Independence that was signed 237 years ago. And note that many of the violations of King George III listed as the reasons for the breakup with Britain are usurpations of freedom that over time have been allowed to sneak into our social and political fabric.
In particular when referring to the Current Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest I would point you to the charge of "dissolving legislatures" (as his just breezily declaring the Senate to be in recess so he could appoint his picks for a couple of Cabinet positions without having to try to convince the Senate to okay them); and the charge of "(Erecting) a multitude of new offices" and (sending) forth swarms of officers to eat out our substance" (Obamacare and 17,000 new Infernal Revenuers, anyone?)
Benjamin Franklin was on the Committee of Five that oversaw the writing of the Declaration. When asked what the Committee had given the People, he said: "A Republic, if you can keep it." And when we look at how we have let the abuses of King George sneak back into our political life, I say we may be in danger of losing that Republic.
But do enjoy this day, be it at a backyard cookout with Dad and Grandpa lighting off some skyrockets, or maybe you'll be down on the National Mall enjoying the Folklife Festival and one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the country.
And when you finish, I and my contemporaries will be waiting to drive your tired and exhausted selves back to your homes and hotels. Maybe you'll get me, and we can have a soda-pop toast to the men who had the courage to write and sign the document that began the Republic we are so blessed to live in.
Happy Independence Day.