“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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
It’s all there. The wants, the wills, the hopes and the power of the people as penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by the Continental Congress 238 years ago today.
The Declaration of Independence laid out our freedoms for the world to see. For we, a new and inspired nation, were to be different than all nations that came before. And to this day, we enjoy that same freedom our forefathers dreamed of while wilting away under unfair and unjust British rule.
But we often forget about the daring nature of that declaration. We don’t think about how bold an action it was. The founding fathers of our great nation, and those who fought on the front lines to make it so, made incredible sacrifice and literally laid their lives on the line for what they believed.
If you continue reading the Declaration of Independence, you’ll find they didn’t hide their disagreements with their government. In fact, they did the exact opposite, going so far as to lay out a list of their grievances with the British rule.
“To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world” were the words that kicked off a list of 27 grievances in the Declaration of Independence. And then, finding King George a “tyrant … unfit to be the ruler of a free people,” we declared ourselves free from his reign.
The document tells the story of a nation of people boldly saying we still stand for no more.