LEE’S SUMMIT, JULY 4, 2012 – On July 4, 1776 a group of brave men gathered to declare this nation’s independence from the tyranny of taxation without representation and the right of every human being to be free to pursue happiness through the fruit of their labor.
“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…”
These words were taught to me by my first English teacher in New Jersey a few months after immigrating to the United States, not speaking a word of English. Obviously I did not understand them at the time, so she translated them for me to Spanish saying “this is what America is all about.” I no longer remember her name but I remember the first time I understood the words.
Years later I read the preamble to the constitution and realized that in the intervening years great effort had been put to give America a start different than could have been possible in Europe, but I wondered why it had been so different in the United States (in 1776) and in Argentina (in 1810). These two countries, formed from immigrants who fled Europe gave their countries such different starts.
The preamble to the Constitution says it best:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
America is based on time proven truths. While you may argue that in 1776 only the land owners could vote and have a say in Government, it was the very Constitution that provided the means to advance the country.
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, was ratified by the States on December 15, 1791 and the first modifications to the constitution were in place. All based on a limited government instituted among men, deriving its just power from the consent of the governed. The founders of our country created something very unique in the world – a limited government.
To me, as an immigrant, there is no better place in the world to raise my children. There is no better place in the world to give them the opportunity to work hard and achieve their own version of happiness. There is no better place in the world to achieve whatever goals you have the courage and work ethic to pursue.
America is the home of the brave and the land of the free. There is a reason why it is put in that order. Freedom requires courage. Freedom requires sacrifices. Freedom requires us to stand on our own. A caged animal has no need for courage – he is protected, and fed, and taken care of by the zoo keepers. The caged animal makes one sacrifice – gives up its freedom – to gain the security and surety of comfort and food supply.
America has always had the courage to be free, to accept the risks that come with freedom for the rewards of setting our own course.
As a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, I take great pride in this nation of hard-working people who understand exactly what Ben Franklin said over two hundred years ago is as true today as it was back in 1759:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Happy Birthday America, God Bless You on this great day where a person like me – an immigrant – can call you my HOME!
The Lee’s Summit Conservative