Don't take freedoms for granted
Embrace ability to chart and change course
12:08 AM, Jul. 4, 2011
On this Independence Day, the 235th anniversary of our nation's founding, it's appropriate to remember and reflect on the words of the Declaration of Independence.
"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."
Those words stirred a new nation to action and continue to serve as an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.
The Declaration of Independence set in motion a grand experiment in self-government. The people would rule themselves, rather than allowing power to reside with a king or despot.
As the declaration notes, "governments are instituted among men." As such, no government can be perfect, and our history is dotted with mistakes.
But because political power rests with the people, we have the ability to correct those mistakes and to build, in the words of the Constitution, "a more perfect union."
That is the true beauty of freedom. We have the ability to chart our own course, and to correct course when necessary.
We should never take those freedoms for granted.
Happy Independence Day.