Independence Day

Declaration Of Independence Signers
Declaration Of Independence Signers
Celebrating America July 4, 1776
Today, July 4th, we celebrate Independence Day - the 241st birthday of America! We also commemorate those who signed the Declaration of Independence and were willing to risk so much. As they acknowledged:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

This John Trumbull painting depicts the moment on June 28, 1776, when the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress. In the central group in the painting, Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, is shown placing the document before John Hancock, president of the Congress. With him stand the other members of the committee that created the draft: John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin. This event occurred in the Pennsylvania State House, now Independence Hall, in Philadelphia.

The document stated the principles for which the Revolutionary War was being fought and which remain fundamental to the nation. Less than a week later, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration was officially adopted. It was later signed on August 2, 1776.

Many of the signers suffered for their actions. Some were hunted, lost homes and property, fled with their families to avoid capture, and had family members captured or killed. Yet despite the high cost, no signer went back on his personal pledge, and America did win its freedom!

There are five unique principles set forth in the Declaration:

-- There is a Creator.

-- The Creator has given a certain set of inalienable rights to every individual.

-- The primary purpose of government is to protect those inalienable rights,

-- There is a fixed moral law ("the laws of Nature and of Nature's God").

-- Decisions below the level of inalienable rights and fixed morals are to be made with the consent of the governed.

As we remember these principles from our nation's founding, let's celebrate this Independence Day in a way that was recommended by John Adams in 1776:

"It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

Declaration Of Independence Document
Declaration Of Independence Document

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