Fourth of July: Most sacred of American holidays

By RUTH PIERRE-CHARLES
Case By Case
Headline Surfer

DELAND, Fla. -- The Fourth of July is perhaps the most famous and important date in the history of the United States -- for  it was on July 4, 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was signed by our forefathers: A moment in time where it was declared that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”[1]

These unalienable rights lie dormant in our lives every day. We cherish the right to life, the ability to be free, and the zest to pursue happiness. Freedom is a beautiful thing. Not only does it allow us the option to choose. Freedom allows us the opportunity to live on our terms. The power to have a life that is not controlled by others, but a life of our own. A life that is dictated by our terms, not the world's. 

This living document is transparent in our lives through our every-day actions. We should never forget the bloodshed of lives sacrificed and the tears wept leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence as we celebrate the rights we enjoy today.

Fourth of July / Headline SurferThese unalienable rights lie dormant in our lives every day. We cherish the right to life, the ability to be free, and the zest to pursue happiness. Freedom is a beautiful thing. Not only does it allow us the option to choose. Freedom allows us the opportunity to live on our terms. The power to have a life that is not controlled by others, but a life of our own. A life that is dictated by our terms, not the world's. 

This living document is transparent in our lives through our every-day actions. We should never forget the bloodshed of the lives sacrificed and the tears wept leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence's we celebrate the rights we enjoy today.

July 4th should be a day for celebration. Heck, I encourage my readers to purchase some fireworks and celebrate with family members and friends. But as you celebrate, I challenge you to take some time to reflect. Read the Declaration of Independence and truly digest what the document means to you. This living document means different things to different people.

Find out what parts of Declaration of Independence resonates with you. Seek to understand the history behind the Fourth of July: What impact it holds in your life. For that is the moment where you can truly appreciate the magnitude of this most significant date in American history.


[1] The Declaration of Independence Transcript, Government Archives Online

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Short Bio

Ruth Pierre-Charles is a Political Science major pursuing her bachelor's at Stetson University in DeLand where she resides during the school year. In addition to her undergraduate studies, Pierre-Charles, 20, of Bradenton, FL, is a former student president of Stetson's American Civil Liberties Union. Last year, she interned for the Office of the Attorney General for the (Washington) District of Columbia. She is an active member of the Volusia-Flagler ACLU. Pierre-Charles' Headline Surfer column is called "Case by Case," reflecting her moderate political views.