Remember Why July 4th

by John Hawkins

With all the political rhetoric that’s bantered around this year, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this is America and that it was created based upon certain principles by our founding fathers. From the earliest writings of Thomas Payne’s “Rights of Man” or “Common Sense” to the Declaration of Independence, we were created to be free from tyrannical government.

The Declaration of Independence begins with:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

The introduction is written by Thomas Jefferson in beautiful language, and is one long declarative sentence.

Jefferson talks about the United States in terms of how it relates to other societies throughout history. He states that the time has come for the colonies to declare independence. Those original fifty-six signers pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to begin the road to the freedom we still share today.

With this edition of The Cherokeean Herald, I wanted to take some time to remember how and why our country began and the reasons the 4th of July is celebrated.

I wanted to get away from pigeon-holing everyone as Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, left or right and just remind our readers what America is and should be about.

We are including the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble, the Gettysburg Address and other historical writings that I feel are the soul of America.

Locally, those of us in rural America still believe in our country. It’s evidenced by the fireworks over Lake Jacksonville or Troup, Wells, Bullard and elsewhere. It’s the parades down Main Street, the backyard barbeques and the proud displays of our flag.

As we celebrate the birth of our Country 248 years ago, please look over the historical documents in this week’s paper and remember the principles we were founded on: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Freedom is only free if we fight for it.