Being an American is special

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, June 30, 2012

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

With those 71 words, the Founding Fathers of this nation declared themselves free of the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. Fifty-six men signed their oaths — a certain death sentence — to the bottom of the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago Wednesday.

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Five more years of vicious fighting against insurmountable odds followed that signing. With Lord Charles Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, Va., on Oct. 19, 1781, the United States of America indeed became free of the overreaching arm of foreign leaders.

When on the lake, or at a barbecue on Wednesday, remember and reflect on what exactly it means to be an American. The tumultuous times — economically and socially — will be weathered. The political discourse will move from division to cohesion. The will of the people will be adhered to again.

America has been through too much, fought too hard and sacrificed all too greatly so that its people may live in a land like few others.

Is America special?