Coming from as many diverse origins as we do, all Americans nevertheless inherit the guarantee of freedom, like the air we breathe.
As we celebrate Independence Day, we remember a day in July 1776 when the signers of the Declaration of Independence declared human freedom from want and oppression, a state of collective happiness.
Today, we know that this freedom must not depend on color or gender or wealth or on any other discriminating factor. It is a universal value, though indeed a personal right, too.
Challenging kings who ruled over millions, the Founders drew up a radically new contract for society which spoke for those millions and said: we will be ruled by ourselves and for ourselves.
The United States is founded on a philosophy of mutual commitment between all members of society, for the good of all.
Thomas Jefferson’s words do not mean government is instituted so that everyone might selfishly secure their own personal happiness.
Our nation was not founded on independence from one another.
The self-evident truths which underlie the nation’s existence, and which we celebrate today, declare the inter-dependence of “one people.”
Nothing must divide us from ourselves.