July 12th, 2011

Happy 235th Birthday to the USA

Each year we host a bbq on July 4th. Some years there are 6 guests and other years fifteen. This year we were joined by 25 plus the uninvited arrival of a two hour rainstorm that knocked-out the power for 90 minutes. Grilled beneath a portable shelter while most guests chatted in the natural light of the living and dining rooms with wine and candles. With power restored, we were able to maintain our annual tradition of reading the Gettysburg Address except that this year we read the Declaration of Independence less the lengthy roster of “repeated injuries and usurpations.” Seems to me that ‘quartering large bodies of armed troops, imposing taxes without consent, and cutting off trade’ would justify such a declaration, yet the FFs (Founding Fathers) delineated a thorough list. I can almost imagine the delegate from New York beseeching Thomas Jefferson, “Enough already. Let’s get this document done and go home!”

A couple of the lesser known sections:
“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.”

Complete text here. It’s worth a read from time to time.


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