The United States is the greatest country to have ever existed.  While other countries rival us for territorial gains and intellectual growth, the United States has put into place so many of the parts that define “society” that no other country compares.  While Rome and Egypt built magnificent civilizations, they lacked many of the human elements that we now possess and cherish.  It takes more than dictatorial rule coupled with population suppression to define the final success of a civilization.   Strong leadership coupled with a little luck and some type of Devine intervention will ultimately define how a country will grow and develop.

On the eve of what I consider to be the second most important Holiday of the year, The 4th of July, it would be appropriate to take a snapshot of the roots of our country and see how the sacrifices made by a few brilliant and honorable men in Philadelphia molded a great experiment into the country we now call America.

It first astounds me that so many men of brilliance and leadership with such honor and integrity were drawn together at one time into Philadelphia to hammer out how thirteen diverse colonies should function as a single unit.  When you consider the small population to draw from in the 1700’s and the mode of travel and communication at the time, the only explanation that I have is that some sort of Devine intervention was present that brought this delegation together with the purpose of forming our country.

When these men that made up the Continental Congress sat down and crafted one of the greatest and profound documents in History, they knew they were committing treason.  All were well read, lived very comfortably and were wealthy.  Life was good for these men and their futures were not threatened; however, they understood honor and the yoke of England was not right for the common man of the country and these patriot’s integrity led them to sign the document that could potentially send them to the gallows.  As one signer said, “I hope that the noose they use fits your neck well“.

Many of the men were very defiant at the time they had to sign and proclaimed so in their signatures.  John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress,  signed with a very large script and stated that he wanted to be sure that everyone can recognize his signature and thus led to the term “put your John Hancock here.” John Carol signed the document with “Charles Carroll of Carrollton” so that no one with confuse him with other Carol’s of Maryland.  Many of the signers suffered financially and Thomas Jefferson, the craftsman of the Declaration, eventually became so financially distressed that he was forced to sell his magnificent library to the congress of the United States and thus the Library of Congress was formed.

The sacrifice these authors of the Declaration Of Independence made for our country is second only to the ultimate sacrifice given by the men and women who have given their lives for our country.   So let us reflect this 4th of July on our wonderful country and the sacrifices made to start it and build it.

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