A Reflection on the Declaration of Independence—236 Years Later
Looking back at the document that changed the course of history so dramatically, we note the grievances of the colonists and the oppression they endured. We also see that the representatives of the 13 colonies, gathered in Philadelphia 236 years ago, pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
Think about it: They were states united. They were pledged to one another. Together they would insure those inalienable rights for the people—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Reflect on those courageous representatives and their political solidarity for the common good. Compare that with our situation today.
Consider these excerpts from our Declaration of Independence, signed in Congress, July 4, 1776:
“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…The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let the facts be submitted to a candid world…
“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 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.”