On this day, let’s pause to reflect

In this year 2018, some Americans are concerned about the future of this great country.

That such a situation is in play isn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last.

Correct within the minds of most of the citizenry, despite today’s problems and issues, is the fact that the governmental structure that the founders put in place more than two centuries ago is destined to remain strong, despite what doubts and setbacks might arise along the way.

As this country has proven numerous times, temporary doubts that have surfaced have, in the end, not weakened this nation but instead, only made it stronger.

And, time and again, it has been shown that every American has a stake in ensuring such an outcome.

Reflecting on those thoughts is appropriate on this day exactly 242 years since the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, which cut this land free from Great Britain.

The message in the Declaration about unalienable rights, among them being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is no less powerful today than it was on July 4, 1776.

It is written in the Declaration that “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.”

Pessimism exists in this country today, but the founders laid out far more serious justifications in their statement of why the bonds that had been in place with Britain should be severed.

Those justifications were summed up by the Declaration’s words that the history of the king of Great Britain was “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

That experience about two and a half centuries ago served to install the United States as a beacon of freedom and hope for the rest of the world, although many peoples of this planet subsequently have failed to understand and have revolted against the great possibilities that America’s system of life and governance provides.

Today is a day for celebration, but it also is a day for being thankful for having the privilege of living in such a wonderful country.

Not only today, but every day of the year, every American should be respectful of that privilege, and each should be appreciative of the Founders’ courage, strength, vision and wisdom.

The signers’ bold act of affixing their signatures to the adopted Declaration — from Pennsylvania, George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, George Taylor and James Wilson — was a display of great personal strength and commitment because it exposed the signers to possible retaliation by Britain.

But their spirit and courage became part of the foundation that allowed America to become what it is today.

Current challenges will be resolved. Be confident of that as you celebrate the meaning of this day.

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