236 years ago, a group of men from the 13 British Colonies of America gathered in Philadelphia. It was an unusually hot and humid summer. These men were considered to be the “creme de la creme” of their colonies. Some were lawyers, some were farmers, some were tradesmen such as cobblers, millers and carpenters. One was even a minister. They were all held in esteem for their honesty and integrity.
They all had a vision and a dream.
They desired to break away from their Mother country, who they felt had grown to come unresponsive to their needs and wants. Over time, the monarchy in England had become oppressive, contemptuous, and was on the verge of becoming tyrannical.
These men, 56 of them in all, signed a document known as The Declaration of Independence. It was a document that would become known as the finest expression of the American mind. It was a road map for the concept of “American Exceptional-ism”. By that term, it is not meant that the United States, as the new nation was to be called, was or is better than any other nation on the face of the Earth. What is meant by the term of “American Exceptional-ism” is the new form of government that was to eventually be embodied in the Constitution of the United States. You see, the Declaration and the Constitution are entwined. The seeds planted in the Declaration blossomed into the Constitution.
In those documents was the “exceptional” idea that men (and by that, we mean all people) were endowed by their Creator with certain “unalienable rights” including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that because of these rights, endowed by God, the power of the government was to rest entirely in the hands of the governed. This was a radical new idea! The people would never be threatened again by a despotic power who could give or take away rights as the result of a whim.
This IS a grand and noble vision that has withstood the test of time for 236 years. It is up to US, the descendants (in fact and in spirit) of those original Americans to keep the dream and vision alive and to never let it perish.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!