Superintendent News & Views
I’ll Call it INDEPENDENCE DAY
By David Hill, North Tama Superintendent
America will soon be celebrating the Independence Day holiday. On July 4, people across our nation will enjoy a day off from work, a day at the lake, a family barbecue, perhaps a parade or local festival, and other traditions. Millions will enjoy beautiful fireworks displays. But often, we don’t take time to consider the origins of the holiday and to appreciate the true meaning of this special day.
Have you read the Declaration of Independence? Have you considered what the declaration meant to those who signed it? I know some of the words may seem a little "old fashioned," but if you are an American and you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so and to think about what it really meant to those at the time.
These brave people believed that their rights came from God -- not from a King, a constitution or any other document, or from any form of government. They understood that because governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed, whenever any form of government becomes destructive the people have the right to alter or abolish their government. Because of the British crown's many abuses of the colonists, they chose to separate from the British government and declare each of the 13 colonies to be free and independent states, and they mutually pledged their lives to defend these United States.
Through the Declaration of Independence, these first Americans were essentially saying, "Hey King, our rights come from God, not from you. We've allowed you to be our leader for a long time, but now you’re not living up to your end of the deal. We're cutting ties with you starting today, and we have every right do to so. If necessary, we're ready to give our lives to defend this right."
Some call the holiday "July 4th." Some call it "America's birthday." Yes, it is the 4th day in July and it is the birthday of our country. But the 4th is just a number, and the word "birthday" brings thoughts of balloons, cake, and presents. I prefer to think of the holiday by its real name, INDEPENDENCE DAY.
When you hear the words Independence Day, I hope you'll remember these first Americans and take a moment to appreciate what this day is really all about.