Senator Boxer: Celebrating the Fourth of July
Friday, July 1, 2011
On the Fourth of July, we celebrate not only America’s birthday but also the birth of our nation’s founding ideals as set forth in the Declaration of Independence.
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met to approve Thomas Jefferson’s revolutionary statement “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Ever since that first July Fourth, Americans have worked to fulfill the promise of freedom embodied in the Declaration of Independence. First the colonists had to fight a seven-year war of independence; then the principles of equality and freedom were tested and forged in the fire of Civil War. In the 20th century, our ideals were again tested and strengthened by two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the successive struggles for equal rights for all Americans.
In the 21st century, the Declaration of Independence continues to inspire those all around the world who struggle for freedom and democracy while spurring us here at home to create a more perfect Union by extending the blessings of liberty to all.
This Fourth of July, as we gather to share our picnics or watch the fireworks, let us once again celebrate – and pledge to defend – the rights and freedoms that make America the greatest nation on earth.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer