Photo Credit: AP / Jacquelyn MartinEvery Fourth of July we have a family dinner and take turns reading sections of the Declaration of Independence. When my kids were young they were thoroughly bored. When they were teenagers they rushed through the reading so they could ditch the family and see their friends, who weren’t subjected to such July 4th indignities. But my children are grown now, and this year brought their friends to our family dinner.
We handed out slices of American Flag cake along with copies of the Declaration and commenced reading, going around the table. My children were apprehensive their friends would think their parents were too corny, and their friends looked on politely, but unenthusiastically. The first few lines were familiar to everyone: “When in the Course of human events”…and…. “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…”
We’re seeing the stirrings of a movement against Washington’s governing elite, an increasingly angry reaction to their abuse of power.
Read beyond those first two paragraphs, though, and you get the long list of grievances the Colonials had against the King. Some of our readers this year were in the military, two were Special Forces guys, just back from some of the fiercest fighting in Afghanistan. The rest were recent college graduates, struggling to find jobs, get apartments they could afford, and payoff college loans.
This year our reading of the Declaration clicked.
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