Book Title: The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
Authors: The Continental Congress
Publication Date: July 4, 1776 in document form and March 24, 2011 in ebook form
Available On: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
All across America, everyone learns about The Declaration of Independence in grade school. We’ve memorized certain sections of its wording. We all know of it and are aware of it. But how many of us have actually read the entire document from beginning to end?
It starts with a formidable preamble that we’ve heard time and again:
“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.”
It then leads into a listing of all twenty-seven grievances perpetrated against America and its attempts at trying to address them with an uncaring British monarchy. Finally, it makes its bold proclamation of independence for all the world to see and spark the fire for America’s citizens to fight for its inalienable rights:
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved…”
On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to declare its independence and two days later, the text of the Declaration was ratified. July 4th, 1776 marked the birth of a new nation. It is the first of three important documents, along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, upon which the foundation and identity of America would be built.
All fifty-six people who signed this document also put their lives on the line by doing so. By making their identity public, they and their families put their lives on the line by doing so and became priority targets of the British military. Many of them sacrificed their lives and their livelihoods by doing so as the Revolutionary War unfolded.
I’ve seen the original Declaration of Independence in its home at the National Archives Building in Washington D.C. In the dimly lit hall, it sits nestled in its climate-controlled display. The security guards standing nearby sternly warn you not to touch the frame that houses it. My footsteps are softly heard as I walk across the marble floor. The atmosphere is solemn, befitting the importance of the original piece of paper that holds such significance in America’s founding.
However, when you lean in to look at it, you can still read the words written by our founding fathers. Though the ink on the original has faded with time, the message it sends will be forever timeless. Its ideas have weathered two-hundred forty-three years since America’s creation and will undoubtedly weather over two-hundred and forty-three more.
As we celebrate America’s two-hundred and forty-third birthday today on July fourth, two-thousand nineteen by spending time with family or friends, going to a barbeque or just enjoying the day off, take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence from beginning to end. It’s free to download on Amazon here or to read on numerous historical websites.
I’ve read it from beginning to end many times over the years and if you were to do so, I think you will find like I did, that the declaration’s meaning still resonates effectively today. Its ideals echo across history and are as powerful now as it was then when it was first crafted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia all those years ago.
Every day and especially today, take the time to remember the origins of America, to appreciate how our country was built, what it stands for and what it’s continuously striving to achieve.
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