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.
As President Gerald Ford emphasized on the Bicentennial of the Declaration, our Founders
boldly reversed the age-old political theory that kings derive their powers from God and asserted that both powers and unalienable rights belong to the people as direct endowments from their Creator. Furthermore, they declared that governments are instituted among men to secure their rights and to serve their purposes, and governments continue only so long as they have the consent of the governed.
Although our country is currently experiencing economic uncertainty, among other problems, the underpinnings of the American spirit remain: on the whole we are still a people who believe that inalienable rights are God-given, not a matter of government grace, and that hard work, self-reliance, and determination can bring about the realization of dreams, regardless of the obstacles our government places in our way.
Despite our ills, we continue to be the beacon of hope for those around the world who seek freedom and liberty. We continue to be a country where one generation has the chance to live a life more prosperous than the previous generations. We continue to be a country of opportunity, even though that opportunity may be hidden in the shadows at times. And, we continue to be a country where brave young men and women volunteer to serve in our armed forces to defend the noble principles on which this country was built.
We are truly a unique nation, born with reliance upon God’s protection and upon sound values. Consequently, we should be optimistic about our future no matter the hurdles we are now facing.
As Ronald Reagan would have said, it is still morning in America, despite our 236 years of wear and tear, and our best days are ahead of us. But, to achieve those best days, we must remain true to our founding principles, and when we stray we must return to them, for they are the key to our greatness.
Happy Birthday America.
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