Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Happy 232nd Birthday, USA!

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania adopted the Declaration of Independence, launching the most revolutionary experiment in Liberty ever.
The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the United States. Never before had a nation been formed by an explicit declaration that outlined the reasons for the formation of a new government, and the purpose of that government.

"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."

Striking the Colors on the USS Constitution
E. Levin, July 2004

Never before in the history of human governments had a government declared that human happiness was a legitimate purpose of government. It's an amazing statement, if you truly consider the implications. Of course, no one can guarrantee a person happiness. But the right to pursue it is yours.

Happy Independence Day, Americans!
Go out there and pursue some happiness!

And here, for you listening pleasure is the Boston Pops performing John Phillips Sousa's
"Stars and Stripes Forever" at their annual July 4 concert a few years ago.

I will never forget Arthur Fiedler's passionate conducting of the Pops in this annual July 4th favorite on July 4, 1976. Alas, I have only the memory, since I had no video camera that year.

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