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Happy Birthday, America!


On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule.

Then, the Congress voted for, and approved, the legal separation of the original 13 colonies from Great Britain. Knowing the critical nature of their act, the Congress next created a document to explain the resolution, the Declaration of Independence. Our third President, Thomas Jefferson, prepared the original draft presented to the Congress, and after it was debated, revised, and voted on, the Declaration of Independence, as we know it, was unanimously adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

This July we celebrate the 248 th “birthday” of our country. Aside from the obvious impact of the Declaration of Independence (addressing the separation from Great Britain), the document also proposed and supported two fundamental ideas that are the basis of our country today. The first, that “all men are created equal,” and the second, that government is based on the “consent of the governed.”

We are a government of the people and for the people. Unlike the governments of many other countries, in America, we the people are in control. It is this writer's opinion that if you were born in America, live in America, and/or are an American you are blessed.

Like most people, when July 4th rolls around, I cannot wait to go see the fireworks, attend neighborhood parties, and sing the National Anthem and God Bless America. Every year my family enjoys watching the fireworks light up the night sky. While the shows and barbeques are fun, we can do more to commemorate the radical birth of our nation.

First, I propose that if you have not read the Declaration of Independence in the last ten years, get yourself a copy and read it. If you have kids, read it with them at the dinner table or at some other family event. It is an amazing document. Aside from its content and impact, it was unanimously approved. Nowadays, not many things receive 100% approval, right?

Then, after reading this amazing document, find one thing to do this month of July to celebrate or commemorate the birth of our Country. Whether it is visiting a National Park, attending a naturalization ceremony of new citizens, taking a course in American history, visiting a U.S. war memorial, or hanging the flag of the United States of America, do something to affirm your gratitude for this great country and its birthday. We are what makes America worth living for. Be proud of our Country. God Bless the U.S.A.


By Cheryl Thode

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