UNITED STATES — “One of the most elegant writings in the history of these United States may be the preamble to 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 inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. …”

Never before in history had one nation so eloquently declared itself free from the tyranny of another with such a consolidated and united voice.

The Declaration of Independence was ratified unanimously on July 4, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa. The historic document announced the American colonies’ separation from Great Britain.

The move was bold and brash. The colonies in 1776 were no match for the world power of the British military might, but, because of patriots like George Washington, Ben Franklin and others, the assistance France and the fierce spirit of the colonial residents, the United States of America came into being after a lengthy, devastating war for freedom.

Today, July 4 is recognized as Independence Day in the United States, and most citizens celebrate with fireworks commemorating the valiant effort of the few citizens who gave up their lives to assure freedom.

After the Declaration of  Independence was signed,

A holiday was celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, after the Declaration of Independence had been signed. During that ceremony, the document was read to a cheerful audience. Bells chimed, and bands heralded the accomplishment. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 and official holiday.”

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com


This story was originally published by TheBayNet.com contributor Pete Hurrey in 2008.