Although never used in the document itself, The Declaration of Independence is the common name of the declaration adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent states and no longer part of the British Empire. They now formed a new nation—The United States of America.
After the text was endorsed on July 4, Congress issued the declaration in several forms. The original was printed on parchment (animal hide) but on 4 July 1776 was also published as the printed Dunlap broadside of which twenty-six original copies are known to still exist.
Its second sentence: 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. Has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language” and something that no other nation on earth has as the cornerstone of their freedom.
Today we celebrate Independence Day, or what’s more commonly known as the Fourth of July, as a federal holiday celebrating the declaration made on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. For most Americans, this day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, picnics, baseball games and time spent with family. I’m writing this post in the simple hope that you not only remember those who brought you freedom in 1776 but those who continue to protect your freedom each and every day — the men and women of our armed forces.
Have a great day with your family (I’m running a two-mile fun run with my boys and watching fireworks). But if you have kids, consider reading them the declaration every year, and if you don’t have kids, read it yourself. Don’t forget how we all got here.