Celebrating the birth of a great nation - and notion

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US – with or without periods after the U and the S. The most remarkable experiment in self-government in the history of the world is 237 years old today.

Few gave a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal” - in the eloquent words of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address – much of a chance to survive, let alone thrive.

But the United States of America, given birth in a hot July summer by a small group of patriots in Philadelphia, has truly survived and thrived in the two-and-a-third centuries since.

It hasn’t always been easy, and it has too often required bloodshed and sacrifice, but the vision of Independence Hall has grown and prospered.

It has too often required struggle and strife, but the promise that “All men are created equal” - in the equally eloquent words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence – has been made and kept true for more and more of us over the years.

This is indeed a great nation, and what has been greatest about it is the ability to accept and embrace diversity.

Even those who founded this nation did not always see eye to eye on questions and issues. Indeed, given the diversity of opinions, beliefs and backgrounds gathered in that room in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in that fateful July, it’s a wonder that they could come together to form a new nation.

But they found a common ground among their differences, came together for a common purpose and created a nation that proved a shining example – albeit not without its flaws and shortcomings – to the rest of the world.

Not everyone got to share in the equality from the start. Men without property, women, people of color, people of certain beliefs were all excluded from the process at the start, but as a nation we came to see the errors of those ways and corrected them.

It was not without the aforementioned bloodshed, sacrifice, struggle and strife at times, but the important thing is that the dream that first came to life 237 years ago is still alive today and is being spread to more and more people everyday.

That’s the greatest gift we, and our nation, can enjoy this holiday and every day.

At issue:
The Fourth of July
Bottom line:
Birthday of freedom


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