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It's about more than fireworks, barbecue
Courier editorial
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“America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact— the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.”  
— Adlai Stevenson

There’s nothing quite like a patriotic holiday to get one feeling proud to be an American. And there’s no patriotic holiday quite like the 4th of July, which celebrates our forefathers’ signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Historians may quibble over whether that actually is the date it was signed, but there’s no argument over the importance of the July 4 holiday.
The fireworks, the speeches and the flags all, to some extent or another, help provide a refresher course on early American history while also allowing us to remember the bedrock foundation upon which this country was founded.
America was a land shaped and built by people from other lands, men and women who came here to build better lives for themselves and their posterity.
They were revolutionaries who rejected tyranny. Brave souls who believed they had the right to determine under which government they would live, and wagered with their lives that man had a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
They succeeded, probably beyond their wildest dreams. America, for all its shortcomings, its problems and its challenges, still provides a beacon of hope for millions from around the world who risk life and fortune to come here.
Many, if not most, do so for the same reasons as our forefathers — to make a good life for themselves and their children and generations to come. Would they come if there were not so much freedom here? So much opportunity?
America is more than just a country, a place that exists on a map. It is at its best — and we are at our best — when America also is state of mind. It’s when we sincerely believe those words our forefathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence so long ago that we do their memories proud and make America great.
Those words are among the most famous ever written and are known around the globe: “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.”
We wish you a safe and happy July 4 holiday.

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