July 4th is an American holiday of supreme importance to us, but it does not stand alone in human history. July 4th, 1776, was one of the golden milestones in man’s progress. Benjamin Franklin delighted to point out the striking parallels in the history of ancient Israel and of the America of his day. Our Independence Day had its prototype in the experience of the Israelites. It was the darkest of their experience, in the culmination of their degradation and despair, that Jehovah gave his divine command to Moses: “Speak unto the children Israel, that they go forward.” That is the most potent command in human history, and in it lays the secret of all human progress, whether national or individual. Every great leader through history has heard it as Moses heard it. The day of obedience has always been the day of emancipation, the day of independence.
The birth of our Nation was not on the battlefield. The real struggle, however, which brought forth the new Government, was in the Hall of Legislature. That is where the Nation came to life. Every true American citizen can, if he will, come to his Country’s aid. He can perform the duties that citizenship imposes. He can obey the law, and by example, influence his neighbor the same way. He can go to the polls and vote for those candidates for high office whom he knows to be men or women of integrity and of high moral value. He can implant in his children a respect for the flag, and in many ways, prove his or her right to the title of “loyal American Citizen.”
The government of the United States of America was set up for the people and by the people. The people were not created for the government. That is a fact that governing powers must not forget in the operation of the laws which have been written upon the statute books. There is no harm in loving our Country, maybe a little bit more than other Countries, and pledge allegiance to our Flag to honor our native land.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty powers! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
— Patrick Henry
Have a safe 4th of July everyone!