Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Declaration of Independence: Words Heard Round the World

Vintage post card of Lady Liberty and the flag.
Words heard round the world.
That's it. That's our national mission statement – a document that says down with tyrants; that says citizens have the right to choose their government – and the responsibility to change it when that government no longer does its job.

And then, just to clear the air of any confusion about what constitutes a "tyrant," there are two pages of itemized abuse.

It's a good read.

Restoring the Declaration
Keeping it alive is our responsibility. Keeping it in physical condition belongs to the National Archives. Check out this video about restoring the Declaration of Independence.

A hand-written copy by Mr. Jefferson
And here is a link to an early hand-written draft of the Declaration, written in Jefferson's own hand! It is part of the collection at Princeton University. It includes a link to a typed, 7 page version of the document which is easier to read and still includes all the notes from the original.
You don't have to read it. You can listen!
To hear the annual reading aloud of this document by the NPR staff of Morning Edition. Don't want to read it aloud yourself? think it might be kinda dull? Fair enough. But check this out. It might change your mind about those words heard round the world.

Do you want a copy of the Declaration? Your personal copy is a click away.

Happy Independence Day!

Let It Fly!
To find find out how to fly the flag and other flag etiquette, see USFlagstore's  Flag Etiquette 101 and USFlagstore's How to Fly the Flag at Half-Staff.

Photo by Donald Miralle, Getty Images

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