Happy Independence Day

Independence Day is normally associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues and sales .. but today celebrates our country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people.

The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths” and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.

We invite you to read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration and share it with others.

Today is also a great day to reflect on the service and sacrifices of our military men and women (and their families) who continue to give so much each and every day to protect our freedoms.

Happy birthday America and hope you and yours have a fun, safe holiday! j & B

Source: Archives.gov

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