Just a few minutes ago, I read through most of the Declaration of Independence. I read through most of the charges laid out against England. And I part of me could see the hurts, the frustration, and the outrage at what was being done to push people to start the American Revolution.
It's shocking to think of how life must have been in 1775, and I'm not just talking about how people dressed or cooked or cleaned or got anywhere. The injustices of having someone killed by a soldier who would be given a "trial" and then allowed to resume his life as if he had done nothing wrong, to do something wrong and be shipped overseas to England to stand trial instead of judges being appointed here, to find out that the governors over you couldn't actually do anything without the kind's permission and he didn't seem to actually care about what was going on in this part of his kingdom.
Now, I know that's been resolved for a long time. But it's shocking to think about. And all these things, things that people were willing to put up with because they didn't want to fight, when added together became enough to finally say "Stop. Enough. We have rights. Rights given to us from God. And you can't take them away anymore."
Now, we have laws that govern us and govern our government. Laws to protect us from having housing soldiers just because they are near our area. Laws protecting our right to a trial. Laws letting everyone, government and governed, what those rights are.
Things like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are part of what makes me glad to have been born in the United States. It makes me proud to know that this country has been founded as an attempt to let everyone feel equal and free, even if it's history has not always borne that out.
And it's nice to know that some of our unalienable rights are still Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Long may that be the case.
Happy Birthday, America!