Editorial: Let us resolve …
Happy 243rd birthday, America! As has become a Trib custom on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we once again commend for your thoughtful review this nation’s founding pronouncement, reprinted in its entirety in the adjacent columns.
And, as also has become an Independence Day tradition at the Trib, in this space, a classic retelling of the moment of America’s separation from England, from historian and Pittsburgh native David McCullough’s book, “1776”:
“In Philadelphia, the same day as the British landing on Staten Island, July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress, in a momentous decision, voted to ‘dissolve the connection’ with Great Britain. The news reached New York four days later, on July 6, and at once spontaneous celebrations broke out. ‘The whole choir of our officers went to a public house to testify our joy at the happy news of Independence. We spent the afternoon merrily,’ recorded Isaac Bangs.
“A letter from John Hancock to Washington, as well as the complete text of the Declaration, followed two days later:
“ ‘That our affairs may take a more favorable turn,’ Hancock wrote, ‘the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve the connection between Great Britain and the American colonies, and to declare them free and independent states; as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you, and to request you will have it proclaimed at the head of the army in the way you shall think most proper.’
“Many, like Henry Knox, saw at once that with the enemy massing for battle so close at hand and independence at last declared by Congress, the war had entered an entirely new stage. The lines were drawn now as never before, the stakes far higher. ‘The eyes of all America are upon us,’ Knox wrote. ‘As we play our part, posterity will bless or curse us.’
“By renouncing their allegiance to the King, the delegates at Philadelphia had committed treason and embarked on a course from which there could be no turning back.
“ ‘We are in the very midst of a revolution,’ wrote John Adams, ‘the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations.’
“(F)rom this point on, the citizen-soldiers of Washington’s army were no longer to be fighting only for the defense of their country, or for their rightful liberties as freeborn Englishmen, as they had at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and through the long siege at Boston. It was now a proudly proclaimed, all-out war for an independent America, a new America, and thus a new day of freedom and equality.”
We won that war, of course. But the war for our independence continues today. Our leaders have rationalized our liberties and promulgated rules, regulations and laws that instead promote our dependence. Conscription and transfer of wealth without regard to their consequences are promoted, recklessly, as “progress.” It is nothing but servitude.
America’s essence is whittled away with each excuse made, each liberty forfeited in the name of “safety” and “security,” each dollar robbed and the Founders’ precepts and Framers’ proscriptions ignored.
So, let us resolve on this Independence Day 2019 to rededicate ourselves to this nation’s founding proposition. For we are not subjects. “We” are the government. And We the People must restake our rightful claim.