A citizen’s required reading for July 4th: The Declaration of Independence (with music)

 

A citizen’s required reading for July 4th: The Declaration of Independence (with music)
July 4, 2010 | 12:01 am

Independence Hall in the City of Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed

The United States’ Declaration of Independence may well be the most cited yet least read or understood document in American history.

Some have suggested over the years that each responsible U.S. citizen should take the occasion of the Nation’s birthday to read that precious document every year, something like pausing at Thanksgiving to give thanks or at New Year’s to ponder what’s past and ahead.

Obviously, we can’t require that. But The Ticket can facilitate that. So here it is, in its historic entirety. For those who are curious to see how the historic document evolved, the wording refined and trimmed, through several writings, including those funny s’s that look like f’s, they can view side-by-side versions right here.

And for those who’d like a little musical accompaniment, we have a special treat this July 4th. It’s a video version of the anthem performed by one of our favorite singers, a woman with an amazingly crystaline voice who writes her own songs. We met her here as a Ticket follower on Twitter. Her name is Amiena (her music website is here). 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWk0dZAyDTA&feature=player_embedded

The final version of the Declaration is right here with paragraphs edited for length for typographical purposes on this modern webpage.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

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.

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,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such….

…. is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of….

 

…large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

Declaration of IndependenceHe has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

— 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.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton     ###

Memorial Day 2010 – More up and More down

Memorial Day 2010 – More up and More down

 

Posted by Hooah_Mac (Profile)

Sunday, May 30th at 9:05AM EDT

10 Comments

from the diaries by haystack

I have missed interacting with my Redstate family for the last 6-8 months.  Rest assured, I have been reading Redstate as often as I can and think of all of you often.

For the last 6 years of my life, each Memorial Day has had new and powerful meanings to me.  This year, tragically, is no different.  On Easter Sunday, our battalion lost a Soldier that I knew rather well, someone who had been with my unit for longer than I have.  He was not the first comrade in arms I have seen lost, but the first one that I had known for so long.

SGT Kurt Kruize   -   Father, Husband, Son, Citizen Soldier    

11 June 1974 – 04 April 2010

SGT Kruize lost his life in a motor pool accident while he worked late hours to ensure that Soldiers going outside the wire the next day had reliable vehicles for transportation and protection.  His sacrifice was no less than that of any other man or woman who has given their lives in the 230+ years that men have taken up arms in defense of Liberty and the Constitution of the United States of America.  He left behind a wife and four children.

Much has been discussed recently about American Exceptionalism, maybe a confusing concept for some, a difficult ideal to explain for others – SGT Kurt Kruize’s life and sacrifice together display the definition of American Exceptionalism in flesh and blood.

This Memorial Day is mixed – even as I sit in silent contemplation of SGT Kruize’s loss, I see more hope this year.  Over 4000 American service members have given the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq.  This is my second trip here, and the differences are clear.  Our interaction with the Iraqi Army is continuous and an inseperable part of how we do business now.  Casualties are way down.  Three years ago, virtually every convoy suffered an IED attack, now most convoys see no action. 

Our Iraqi interpreters live on post with us in the same housing we live in.  Speaking with them gives me the greatest satisfaction about the job we have done here. I spoke at length one night with one man and learned about his hopes and dreams.  Under Saddam’s regime, he had no prospects because he was not from the right part of Iraq.  When Saddam was in charge, only those who came from Saddam’s home town of Tikrit or were somehow related or connected to Saddam’s family or the Ba’ath party could succeed.  Now, this man makes decent money as an interpreter, and he is saving it in hopes of buying a small shop in the future.  Does that not sound like our American dream? 

His main concern is the corruption in the governement (as if that waqn’t nearly universal to the human condition).  He views our American Democracy in almost mythical terms, as if as Americans we have some magical formula that allows us to rule ourselves.  He does, however, have hope for a future of self-rule for his country.  He also now has the desire and the will to do what he can to make it happen.

Our sacrifices are now paying dividends.  Our Commander-in-Chief for the majority of this conflict stood his ground and fought on when the going was tough.  As a result, those of us in uniform did the same.  Because of this, Iraq is free, terrorism has one less safe haven, and the Middle East is beginning to see what true freedom is.

On Monday, Americans will go to the lake or the park, they will eat hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers.  There will be parades, fireworks and concerts.  Please enjoy this Holiday which marks the beginning of summer.  Just remember that my fellow Soldiers and I will spend the day running convoys, kicking down doors, training Iraqis and doing whatever else Uncle Sam requires of us in this war zone.  As our Battalion Commander reiterated recently after an Explosively Formed Projectile attack missed killing two of our Soldiers by less than a second, “The enemy is still out there and he still gets a vote on what happens.”  We will gladly do our part for the country we all dearly love, and all that we ask is that you recognize our fallen, rejoice in the triumphs those sacrifices have bought, and never forget those of us still fighting.

SGT Kruize’s unit, the Forward Support Company, 367th Engineer Battalion’s motto – “First Up, Last Down.”

God Bless America
Army Strong

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