1776: United States Declaration of Independence - Free ...     It arrived on my doorstep pre-dawn on June 29 boasting an above-the-fold, close-up photo of the United States Capitol Dome and the caption, “Suffolk University polls shows fear for the future of democracy is widespread.”

Beneath it, that USA Today article’s headline read, “Democracy in America: Doubts Grow from Within as July Fourth Nears.”

And its lead sentence: “The United States will blow out 247 birthday candles this year, but many Americans are not in a celebratory mood.” Two paragraphs down, the above-mentioned Suffolk University poll’s finding that 70% of us agree that “American democracy is imperiled…”

The rest of Phillip M. Bailey’s and Terry Collins’s piece devotes itself to laying blame all around, nothing new and no need to repeat here. Instead, a few reminders as America turns 247:

** On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence.

** That same July 2, Founding Father John Adams–and eventually U.S. President #2—wrote to wife Abigail telling her that July 2 “will be celebrated by succeeding Generations as the great anniversary Festival.” That, he said, would include, “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

** On July 4, 1776, the delegates of the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence—“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”

** The Fourth of July, aka Independence Day, was named a federal holiday in 1941.

And, among the advice and warnings of our Founding Fathers…

— “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” ~ John Adams

— “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

— “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know the prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

— “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved.” ~ Samuel Adams

— “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” ~ Thomas Paine

— “Where there is no law, there is no liberty.” ~ Benjamin Rush

— “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.” ~ Patrick Henry

— “If it be asked, what is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be an inviolable respect for the Constitution and laws.” ~ Alexander Hamilton

— “America belongs to ‘We the People.’ It does not belong to Congress. It does not belong to special interest groups. It does not belong to the courts. It belongs to ‘We the People’…”   ~ John Jay

— “Truth will ultimately prevail when pain is [sic] taken to bring it to light.” ~ George Washington

Take heed and pass it on…

With thanks and good 4th of July wishes and beyond, Carol