Declaration of Independence provides blessings of liberty

Independence Day, also called the Fourth of July or July 4th, is the day when we commemorate the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

In this troubled world, the Fourth of July, though, continues to be a day when people of the United States celebrate our independence with great pride.

Forty years ago, then President Ronald Reagan’s message on Independence Day focused on “the brilliant beacon of liberty, the true hope of all mankind.”

His message, still holding true today, read:

“The signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, gave birth to the United States as a sovereign nation and affirmed our commitment to individual liberty.

“This eloquent document was, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, the ‘genuine effusion of the soul of our country,’ and indeed it truly expressed the American ideal of the dignity and rights of man. From that time on, the pages of our history have been indelibly inscribed with the enlightenment tenet that government derives its power from the consent of the governed and that each individual possesses certain unalienable rights.

“Today, more than two centuries after its adoption, the Declaration of Independence continues to provide intellectual and spiritual inspiration to people everywhere.

“While walking through the streets of Philadelphia on the first anniversary of the Declaration, John Adams noticed that many citizens had placed lighted candles in their windows. ‘It was the most splendid illumination I ever saw,’ he wrote.

“On this Fourth of July as we commemorate the 206th (now 246th) anniversary of Independence and reflect on the blessings of liberty, let us fervently pray that God will always guide our efforts to preserve that ‘splendid illumination’ for ourselves, our posterity and freedom-loving people around the globe.”


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