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July 4, 2014

OUR VIEW: U.S. celebrates its birthday

STILLWATER, Okla. — Americans will be throwing a nationwide birthday party today as we celebrate the birth of our country. But the Fourth of July is more than a day for fireworks, picnics and fishing tournaments. It’s a day to remember the birth of the United States.

It was on July 4, 1776, that the United States officially declared its independence from England. The Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pa., to begin drafting a plan that would lead to a break of British rule. Leaders of the 13 American colonies met to form a new government with new rules.

A five-man committee was appointed to draft a declaration of independence from England. The Committee of Five consisted of some heavyweights in American history – John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. Jefferson was chosen to craft the words that have become a birth statement of America:

“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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Read carefully over those words again. It’s who we are as Americans. There may be many differences among Americans, but we share one thing in common as a nation – our birthday.

Happy birthday, America.

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