What Do We Celebrate?
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Land of the Free for Every Generation
W e recently celebrated the Fourth of July with holiday picnics, parades, games, barbecues and, of course, fireworks. This is the most important holiday in our nation’s history, and when I sit down to watch the fireworks show with my family, I often reflect on what it is we’re celebrating. Independence, when our Founding Fathers put their names on a document that would have gotten them hung as traitors had the colonists lost the war. They, along with the men and women throughout the colonies, were willing to fight for their freedoms and sacrifice all they had because of what the Declaration of Independence stood for. What I find really interesting is the kind of freedoms the colonists were fighting for. We hear a lot about “taxation without representation” and how that helped motivate early revolutions. The Boston Tea Party was a political protest in response to the British monarchy taxing colonists to pay British debts. But when the Founding Fathers moved on to write the Constitution, the framework for our nation’s laws, they didn’t write an extensive tax code. They made a point to protect the freedoms of the nation’s citizens. In the United States, we are fortunate to live in a nation founded on the belief that people are entitled to freedom of consciousness, which includes religious, economic, and political freedoms. These are not freedoms promised to us by our government, but God-given rights every person is born with. These rights belong to everyone, whether they live in this country or another. Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of
“These are not freedoms promised to us by our government, but God-given rights every person is born with.”
amendments, exists to limit the powers of our government to preserve the rights that have been handed down by God to individuals. As an attorney, it is my privilege to be part of protecting our rights by upholding the law of the land. When the Founding Fathers first wrote the Declaration of Independence, they made a pledge to each other, swearing their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in their fight to build a free nation. Since then, every generation has made their own sacrifices to preserve our nation and make it a land of the free. The Fourth of July is a celebration of the freedoms this country was built on, but it’s also an important reminder. As we gather with our families to eat apple pie and watch the fireworks, we must remember the sacrifices that were made to protect those freedoms, and that we all have a duty to do whatever is necessary to preserve those freedoms for our children and grandchildren. This country is a special place, and I am proud to call it my home. –Walter E. “Pete” Moak
We’re fortunate that the Constitution, with the Bill of Rights and the numerous
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