“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” —Declaration of Independence by the thirteen united States of America, July 4, 1776
This month we commemorate both the birth of our nation on Independence Day and the entry of the pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on Pioneer Day. Much sacrifice and personal suffering, including the loss of life, separation of families, and forfeiture of wealth, led to the creation of a great nation and wonderful state.
- Our country has been a bed of innovation that has helped change the world.
- Our Constitution led the way to establish free governments throughout the world.
- Our state leads the nation in many categories related to economic opportunity.
The beautiful state we live in and our fortunate circumstances were made possible by the hardships endured by those involved in the founding of our nation and state. This month let us take the time to learn more about them and share what we learn with those around us. Let us show our gratitude for the many sacrifices made, that we cannot repay, by serving others in our community, state, nation, and the world.
Let me close with this thought from Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence:
“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families. The Amor Patriae [love of one's country] is both a moral and a religious duty. It comprehends not only the love of our neighbors but of millions of our fellow creatures, not only of the present but of future generations. This virtue we find constitutes a part of the first characters of history.” Letter dated Oct 10,1773