2017-06-28 / Editorials

Independence Day – A Heritage To Revere

As our most important national holiday, Independence Day deserves celebration, but perhaps observance is the better word, as Independence Day represents the foundation of our country. The fireworks are the most defining feature of the holiday, signifying the explosive innovation of the American Revolution. To accompany that, we will be celebrating with parades, barbecues, sales, concerts, beer, pool parties and block parties. Amid the celebration, take a moment for contemplation of our pioneering Declaration of Independence. It was all about the human rights of self-determination and equality; the right to a fair trial; the defense of the nation, and taxation not for tribute, but for the benefit of the people paying them. These principles should always apply, underlying and guiding us through every issue that confronts us in our complex modern society. Certain archaic social norms were taken for granted at the time of its writing, but based on its principles, we have continued to move in the right direction, and we should always strive to do so. Our Founding Fathers stood up to the imperial world power of the time, Great Britain, and told King George III we are no longer interested in being a colony, or in existing solely for his enrichment. Not only did we assert our independence and win it, but what has kept us going strong was the enlightened form our new government would take.

Our country was officially founded with the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, in the midst of revolution, and its form of representative democracy was set down with the Constitution 230 years ago, but it must always be maintained by each new generation. There will always be those seeking power or subverting the spirit of our laws for their own benefit, and we must remain vigilant to protect our rights. Fortunately the ability to do that is built-in, with voting that allows for the peaceful transition of leadership.

Participation is not officially required. We are the recipients of the benefits of a powerful and fair union, but we also must pay for that membership, in the form of voting, paying taxes, agreeing to obey the laws we’ve had a say in instituting, and potentially joining the military service. It makes sense to fully participate in the selection of those who we feel will best represent us – specialists in the law and governing, who are honest, and also have our best interests at heart. More people than ever before are taking a keen interest in politics during these precarious times. The average person can now easily become as informed as they want, with the internet and social media at one’s fingertips, including the Gazette in all its formats. From that involved state, it’s a small step to really put our two cents in in the form of our individual ballots, contacting representatives, communicating with other concerned citizens and attending civic meetings.

Let us salute the courageous individuals who banded together, and risked not only their own lives, but the future of their descendants for this noble cause. All their property would have been confiscated, depriving their families of their security. But they had their conviction. Not only were they courageous, but they were very likely geniuses. If the current political climate seems cloudy at the moment, read the enlightening words of our Founding Fathers, for they were truly inspired. Their intellect was placed in the service of mankind, not themselves; none of them sought to enrich themselves or become rulers. Our country’s independence and health is never a done deal, it is meant to be protected, cultivated and perfected continually. We are extremely lucky to have this powerful foundation to build upon and we must see that it is properly maintained and treasured by succeeding generations.

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