The foundation for this great nation was built over 239 years ago when our "founding fathers" made an irreversible decision. This decision to "declare independence" and free themselves of British subjugation was one that would change the political landscape of the world forever. This decision resulted from passionate enthusiasm, spirited debate, careful reflection and was not without risk.
Failure was a very real and an even likely consequence that would follow this bold decision. Yet the only way to achieve the desired changes being sought was for our colonial ancestors to challenge the resolve of their formidable oppressors. The first steps were taken as a consequence of political debate and actions within the halls of the early Congress. The final steps and attainment of their goals would only occur after blood was spilled on the battlefield.
Several years after declaring their independence the colonists eventually earned recognition of their independence. They had achievied an unlikely victory on the battlefield and after accepting the terms of peace proposed by the British monarchy had become independent and eventually sovereign. Years of suffering and sacrifice had yielded the unlikeliest of outcomes. Not only had independence been desired, now it's attainment had become reality.
Today "independence" remains at the core of our values as citizens of this democratic republic. As a parent and an educator one my most important responsibilities is to foster that independent spirit in my own children and those that I teach. Creating choices that put them in position to exercise their voice is a great starting point. Through the facilitation of practice and process, opportunities are created that allow them to take ownership of the product of their efforts. Their future success and the success of our nation depends on their ability to think, act and contribute independently. Furthermore it is vital that they embrace the importance of risk taking to ensure their advancement and the advancement of our great nation.
As this holiday weekend comes to a gradual close, I am once again in awe of the courageous efforts of our "founding fathers" and those Continental soldiers who fought so valiantly helping to achieve our "independence". In 1776 it was revolutionary and even treasonous for individuals to think and act independently of the ruling monarchy.
The Declaration of Independence presented a bold and revolutionary challenge to the existing monarchical govermment. Years later after victory was ensured this concept of "independence" would be a central principle of the new republic's governing philosophy. Today this principle remains deeply embedded in our national identity and continues to permeate our national culture.
Every year 300 million people take a holiday during the early summer and celebrate the independence of the United States of America. It is vital to our future identity and national security that we never lose sight of the reasons for the celebration.