Why celebrate Independence Day
Nauseous and dizzy from a bout of smallpox, the 16th President of the United States stood on the battlegrounds of Gettysburg, speaking to a crowd at the dedication of a new national cemetery for the soldiers who had fallen here. The first words in his speech would become his most remembered as they would define our country’s founding struggle for equality and dignity.
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Abraham Lincoln, who held together our national republic, was not referencing 1788, the ratification of the Constitution, but was pointing to the Declaration of Independence of 1776 as the true founding of our nation, its people, and its principles.
For the same reason, I celebrate. No other lineage of history broke away from the past like we have; to state those 241 years ago that a government answers to its people, a people who are equal before the law in dignity by God, is still a moment not only to be proud of, but to share with the world and to give to our children.
I can’t say that I’m a conservative, nor do I think it is strictly conservative to recognize it is far easier to destroy and let die than it is to preserve and uphold the American way of life. I’m glad to live in this country and celebrate our shared values.