The Fourth of July

Today is the 4th of July. Naturally, I'm going to write about Independence Day. I know, it's passe, original, and totally expected.
First of all, I would like to wish everyone a splendid and safe day. I hope the fireworks are spectacular. Secondly, I would like to say that I love this country.
In 1776, something happened at the First Continental Congress. John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John and Samuel Adams, and a slew of other brilliant men between the ages of 26 and 70 signed America into law. It wasn't until 1784 that America was finally ratified.
We built a country based on the needs of the people. We established a currency, constructed commerce, and developed a new people: the American people.
America is a country for the poor, the rich, the genius and the moppet. We are no longer a system of thirteen colonies. We are no longer a system of states. We are a country of Americans.
In this, it is our duty to remember on this day the journey of this land we all love. We were built on principles of freedom, life, and liberty. We were built on principles of statehood. We were built on principles of self-reliance.
America could no longer suffer the multitude of injustices of a tyrant who taxed her for necessities without giving her a voice, for dissolving her houses of representation, for erecting new offices without the consent of the governed and the list goes on. For these, we the people established a country free of a dictator, free of taxation without representation, and freedom to live a life without constraint. These thirteen colonies had to be without ties to a patriarchy. These thirteen colonies had to become America.
We were granted through bloodshed and tears our right to life. Every individual, regardless of status, was granted life, which was more than just the gift of breath. We would no longer be shuffled and categorized. We were granted the ability to live. From cradle to grave, the life we created was ours and ours alone. We had written proof that we should not be discriminated on appearance, status, or religion. We had for once the protected right to ourselves and the right to be born into a world where this is possible.
Within the freedom of life, we had contained liberty. Liberty to do with our lives what we wish. We created within our infrastructure the ability to speak when we needed, cry when we had to, and take up arms when our liberty was being threatened. Our choices became our choices alone, for better or worse. We assumed full responsibility of ourselves and the liberty of others was theirs alone.
With these two combined, we truly found our freedom, for what is freedom without life and liberty? We have become a country of freedom. And there, therein lies the true definition of America. We are free. Free from an overreach of government, free from the constraints of slavery, political or social, free from oppression in all forms, and the freedom to become what we wish. America was built on the principles of the individual. America is a country for the people and by the people.
On this day in 1776, delegates determined that America should be a place where all individuals have a chance to begin anew, following the laws of the people for the people. To be, or to become, an American is to assume the responsibilities that come with a heritage rich and new. It is to accept a knowledge that America is different and shall always be. It is to comprehend a future built on a past that had changed the face of the world.
That is why today is celebrated. Do not forget that America is people. It is us.


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