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July 4, 2002

Happy Birthday America!

Mike Kuster

The greatest country and oldest Republic turns 226 years old today! That's quite a feat. The most amazing of those feats is the story of our country's birth.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress declared their independence from England. Yes, July 2nd is the day we declared Independence. It took Thomas Jefferson two days to draft an explanation of the congressional decision. That document, known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted and signed on July 4, 1776.

So, what's so great and so special about the United States of America? Why has it lasted so long? Why haven't other governments survived?

The answer lies within the name of this week's holiday, Independence Day!


That word sums up our great country.

Very hardy and independent people colonized this part of the world. They left the comfort of their European homes to build a new life in a New World. Once here, they forged relationships (both positive and negative) with the native populations. They created a thriving and prosperous community up and down the Atlantic Coast. Eventually, their independent decedents forged further west. They conquered countless obstacles, enemies, and created a heritage for all of us.

Here in Frederick County, 12 Independent magistrates sparked the first fight for Independence in 1765. They voted to repudiate taxation without representation imposed by the King. Independent citizens burning an effigy of the tax collector followed that bold move. Frederick County still celebrates the acts of our independent ancestors as Repudiation Day.

Under the yoke of imperialism, independent men sought to create a society within which all were able be independent - free.

Our independent ancestors fought and conquered the most powerful military of their time. They did it with little means and little training. A country of independent farmers, with more time behind a pitchfork than a bayonet and rifle, won the independence Jefferson wrote of in his Declaration of Independence.

The Constitution of the United States of America delineated the independence of the citizens. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, our Bill of Rights, outlines 10 things the federal government cannot do. These no-nos for the government provide unprecedented freedom to the states and the citizens of those states.

The shared culture of our nation revolves around Independence. Being American means being free. We do, say, and act as we please. Just as our forefathers, we resent anyone telling us what to do or say. We worship as we wish (or don't). We form and state our own opinions even when they are contrary to the leadership. Our freedom limited only by our respect for the freedom of others.

Independence makes The United States of America the Greatest Country In the World!

This week, and every week, celebrate our Independence. Do something you want to do! YOU ARE FREE!

God Bless The United States of America, a country of Independence!

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