“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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 ... 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.” (In Congress, July 4, 1776: The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America)
Whether with fireworks, a family picnic or a trip to the shore, Americans have good reason to celebrate today.
This nation’s Founding Fathers (and Mothers) had the wisdom and foresight to know the potential of a free and independent people. The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place just a short drive down the road in Independence Hall at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia.
We, here in the Lehigh Valley, live close enough to see examples of America’s founding history in person.
In September 1777, the bell from the Pennsylvania State House was hidden in Allentown when George Washington’s troops were defeated by the British at Brandywine Creek.
The bell, now known as the Liberty Bell, was transported by hay wagon to Zion Reformed Church, where it was placed under the church floor.
The bell remained hidden in the church until June 1778, when this symbol of freedom was returned to the State House.
The Liberty Bell Museum, at Zion’s Church, where a replica of the original bell is now located, will take part in the national bell ringing ceremony 1:30 p.m. July 4. The replica bell will be rung 2 p.m.
Through wars, slavery, presidential assassinations, scandal, riots and corruption on the highest levels, America has stood strong.
America’s founders chose their words carefully, whether in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution of the United States (ratified March 21, 1788; effective March 4, 1789).
They knew the importance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — not only for their generation, but for those to come who would hopefully continue their dream.
As stated in the preamble to the Constitution “... secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Let us all celebrate the wisdom of these men.
On this day, shoot the fireworks high, take a family trip — but also remember to take a moment and give thanks for all you have.