This past week was the single most important holiday for our country. We, for the 236th time, celebrated being a nation. The Declaration of Independence is one of if not the most important document’s in our nation’s history because everything subsequent to it is subsequent because of it.
On a hot summer day in July (much like the one we had) fifty six men signed a declaration of war on the greatest empire the world had ever known. Against seemingly insurmountable odds we fought, and we won. On this hot day in July we remember the men who put their names into history (some of whom I’m sure don’t receive the credit they should). So on this day, and every day, look past the political bias and rhetoric and remember what it means to be American. Being an American is more than being a Democrat or a Republican, it’s about remembering that we have the freedom we do because thousands would die for you and I without a second thought. It’s about doing our civic duty as Americans and insuring we have a government that is ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. It’s about remembering that our definition of a ‘hard life’ is something millions in some countries would kill for.
During the Revolutionary War General Washington, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, and many others knew what defeat would mean. Should they be fortunate enough to survive raids, battles, etc. they would have suffered any one of a number of very painful and very public executions. But this didn’t stop them, if you look at one of my personally favorite quotes from the time of the declarations signing it was of Ben Franklin and it was this ‘We must all hang together, or surely we will all hang separately’. It was at this time that our nation became a nation, this unity is something hard to find today. All we see is two colors on our flag, the red and the blue. It’s time for us to be one nation again. We can do it, but it starts with us, the people. We must do our part and make sure we are educated; we must look past the rhetoric and find the truth if not for us then for the future of our nation. The children who set in the classroom today will be America tomorrow.
When I look at my nation today I see problems everywhere, but I also see that the American dream is alive. The American dream cannot be killed; the American dream will live so long as we the people believe in it and strive to achieve it. Make yourself a promise I made myself years ago. Promise never to give up, promise that you look at defeat as a sign that you need to try harder. Promise yourself that the American dream is living the American life, and that it’s only what you make it out to be.