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Reflect back on meaning of July 4

Today is the day we officially celebrate the birth of our great nation -- The United States of America.

We kick back and relax, take in the sun. Eat some hamburgers and hotdogs off the grill and take a cool, refreshing dip in the water.

Yes, it's a time for celebrating and relaxing. However, we can't forget why we celebrate -- especially in these uncertain terms.

If we stop, and reflect on why we celebrate July 4, we just might learn a little something about our history, and ourselves.

According to Britannica online, the Declaration of Independence is a document that was approved by the Continental Congress announcing the separation of the 13 North American British Colonies from Great Britain.

It is the final draft of a document written by Thomas Jefferson that we treasure to this day and credit as marking the official birth of The United States.

It simply starts…

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the eart, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should delcare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"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. …"

Simply put, that means we all, no matter who or what we are, are equal. Differences of opinion or not.