In Congress, July 4th, 1776

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

…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.

In Congress, July 4th, 1776

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

…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.

Why America is Different (and Better) Than Other Nations

Other nation’s have their start lost in the mists of time. Some founded by the merest adventurers, others by conquerors and oppressors; some were just sort of made up by others. The United States is different – voluntarily people removed themselves from their native society and set up a new place where right from the beginning, regular folks would look after their own affairs. It took raw guts to even want to come here – the trip across the Atlantic was fraught with risk, and that was before you even set foot in North America and tried to carve a life out of the wilderness. Only the most stern, disciplined and motivated people would even try…and only the best among them would live. A nation founded by such people was bound to be unique – and better than any other nation out there; and so it has proved.

By the time our Founders gathered in 1776 we were 150 years a people…divided, to be sure; not at all certain as to just what sort of government we should have…but dead set upon the fact that they would rule themselves, or die fighting.

We here in 2011 have lost some of that. We’ve grown a bit fat and soft…and some people who claim the title of American would even fight to defend liberty under any circumstances. But, also, we are regaining some of that. As the forces out to destroy the American ideal advanced, it created a backlash…and now people realize that the precious inheritance is at risk. That we could, indeed, cease to be American and become some sort of besotted, bankrupt, dying copy of disintegrating Europe.

I think we will recover it all – I think we will prove to our Founders that we are worthy descendants. There will be a new birth of American freedom, and we will once again astound the world.