By Rube Render
Today is Independence Day. It is not the Fourth of July weekend or the Summer Sale Extravaganza.
It is Independence Day and commemorates, “Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.”
I expect that sooner or later some far-sighted politician will introduce legislation denoting the first or second Friday of July as the onset of “Nationhood Weekend.”
As part of our history lessons in elementary school, we were all required to memorize the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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.“
Soaring rhetoric, easily memorized by a young child, and words to live by.
What follows them is the charge of a “long train of abuses and usurpations” by the “present king of Great Britain,” culminating in a bill of indictment that begins with the words, “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
The concluding paragraph of the Declaration is the one that should take your breath away and cause a shiver up your spine. This paragraph contains the verbiage that actually severs any allegiance to the British crown and all political connections between the United Colonies and the state of Great Britain. The final sentence of this paragraph reads:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
In hindsight, these words roll smoothly off the tongue and contain a noble sentiment. We must always remember that the 56 men who signed this document were committing high treason against the mightiest country in the civilized world and they had no idea what the future held for them or their budding country.
Sometime today, take a few minutes, read the Declaration, and thank God our founders had the courage to put their names on what was for them a certain death sentence.
Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at: