rick & 1j13
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Birth & Death
Today is Independence Day, when we as Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence as our charter for countryhood. But I'm looking at "This Day In History" online this morning, and finding other remarkable things:

  • On this day in 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence: "Jefferson had authored it, and Adams, who was known as the 'colossus of the debate,' served on the drafting committee and had argued eloquently for the declaration's passage."

  • Also, on this day in 1863, the city of Vicksburg was surrendered to Union troops after a long seige. Soldiers and civilians had to deal with constant shelling, and many attempts at rescue were turned away by the larger Union force. "The town of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for 81 years."

    Here is an excerpt 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. --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 to 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
    Government and authority are not things to be trifled with, but are things that should be held in high esteem, with noble causes bringing us to the point of acting intentionally and forcefully. Marcus Aurelius' quote about Rome from Gladiator should be true today: There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
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