Wednesday, 5 July 2006

"...our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour."

So pledged the Founding Fathers.

And, they meant it.The fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence had everything to lose. They were professional men. Wealthy men. Landowners. Many with close ties to Britain. Many with families dear to them. Young like Edward Rutledge, 26, or older like Ben Franklin, 70.

And, they knew full-well, as they inked their names on the burlap, that they were signing their own death warrants. Their actions—their very thoughts—were seditious and punishable by execution.

Yet, they signed.

They signed because the Declaration was about more than colonial self-governance. It was properly about the moral cause, the right, of individual prerogative. The right to live free from the unwarranted jurisdiction of the state, the church, or your neighbour. The right to live for yourself, to strike out in pursuit of your own happiness, to be unfettered by the whim of a monarch or the majority rule of a community.

The Founding Fathers stood up for this and much more. These were great men who created the greatest civilisation the world has ever witnessed. They made a pledge to each other and to themselves. And, they kept it.

Happy 230th birthday, America!

[Blatantly and unashamedly stolen from SOLO. Thanks Ross.]

TAGS: Politics-US, History, Constitution,

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