Saturday, July 02, 2005

Jefferson Lives

It is that Time of Year

The time may yet come when the demand for freedom issues from Europe, Africa or Asia, rather than this country. But that time is not now. Right now freedom’s causes emanate from the United States of America. Not only are its citizens evangelistic about freedom for all people but also optimistic and hopeful that all people will someday experience freedom’s benefits.

Yes, there are the Old World Socialists among us who know better than the people of this Republic and don’t care for freedom. But they are in the minority, their strident voices muted by the whispers of freedom-lovers who in their quiet way unite to form a roar of thanksgiving. The free are grateful to those who gave so willingly of their assets and lives that freedom might exist and might even someday, become universal.

It is that time of year.

Two hundred and thirty years ago, a group of Englishmen threw down the gauntlet. They signed their own death warrants when they signed a document called the Declaration of Independence; they were determined to fight against the best army in Europe rather than take any more of the unjust behavior of the government that ruled them.

That document and subsequent events shook the world, which began to change at that moment when the ink dried. The chain of events that followed is yet causing changes nearly two and half centuries later.

Thomas Jefferson lived long and made many contributions to the welfare of mankind during his productive, somewhat flawed life. He died some fifty-one years after our war for Independence began. What did he want to be remembered for? Only one thing: Jefferson wanted to be remembered as the author of the Declaration of Independence. The rest of his accomplishments, those in government, diplomacy, science, engineering, agriculture, music, and architecture he held as unimportant, next to that document.

Jefferson knew what was really important. The Declaration of Independence has inspired millions of people since 1775, and its spirit infects people today.

While authorship of the Declaration belongs to one man, it is the reflection of the ideas and desires of a young nation. If Jefferson had not written it, perhaps another person would. It was the time when freedom was struggling to be born. Now we can take a few minutes to reflect on this wonderful gift of freedom.

It is that time of year.

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