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Why is the Declaration of Independence Important Today?

Why is the Declaration of Independence Important Today?

The Founding Fathers continued to explained why the Declaration of nIndependence was so important and why Independence Day should be celebrated every year.

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm
but I am not. — I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. — Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means…”

(The signer of the Declaration and second president of the United States, writing to his wife, Abigail Adams, at the time of the ratification of the Declaration)

“Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not, that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission on Earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government on the first precepts of Christianity?”

(The son of John Adams and sixth president of the United States gave this 4th of July speech in 1837)

[O]ur fathers were men — they were heroes and patriots — they fought — they conquered — and they bequeathed to us a rich inheritance of liberty and empire which we have no right to surrender … Yes, my fellow freemen, we have a rich and growing empire — we have a lucrative commerce to protect — we have indefeasible [inalienable] rights — we have an excellent system of religion and of government — we have wives and children and sisters to defend; and God forbid that the soil of America should sustain the wretch who [lacks] the will or the spirit to defend them. Let us then rally round the independence and Constitution of our country, resolved to a man that we will never lose by folly, disunion, or cowardice what has been planned by wisdom and purchased with blood.

(Noah Webster said these words in 1798, at a fourth of July celebration. He fought in the Revolutionary War, was a legislator and judge, and became “Schoolmaster to America”, publishing the first American Dictionary of the Enligh Language in 1828)

Abraham Lincoln, why is the Declaration of Independence important today?
“I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing here, in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my hands is the task of restoring peace to the present distracted condition of the country. I can say in return, Sir, that all the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that Independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.”

(From a speech in Philadelphia, February 22, 1861)

President Lincoln, what was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?
“These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ … [T]hey established these great self-evident truths that … their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew that battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land … Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence … let me entreat you to come back … [C]ome back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence.”
(President Lincoln presented this appeal in 1858 to a crowd in Lewiston, Illinois)

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July 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Dear Faithful,
    It seems like there were many catastrophic results to the signers of the Declaration parting company with the status quo of the time, the British monarchy, but then that’s according to GoodNewsTucson, which seems to bend in the direction of a history more fearful than it actually was. It seems as though this is proof of a malevolent father in amidst the quotes from Adams, Webster, Lincoln and so forth. My question to you is, whatever happened to ‘born again’, flag-totin’,Tom Delay- you know him as Jack Abramoff’s associate and the Son of Privelege’s golf partner? Is he formulating some deadly new pesticide such as Citizen’s United? And where is Patriot Insurance Company’s very vital founder, Rick Renzi? Well the real good news is I don’t buy any of your revisionism!
    Sincerely, Eric Fuller

    Comment by Eric Fuller | July 27, 2010 | Reply


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