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SENTRY JOURNAL » 4th of July, indpendence » Independence Day: My duty and my responsibility as a citizen

Independence Day: My duty and my responsibility as a citizen

Ever since I was a child I’ve loved fireworks.  The crisp sparkle of a variety of colors painting the night sky has always captivated me.  Last night while watching the news I heard a faint boom from a far off distance. Like a child on Christmas morning I jumped up from my chair and went to the back door.  Just over the hill I could see those wondrous colors painting the sky; a feeling of reassurance washed over me as I made my way to a chair on my back patio.  Independence Day was upon us again.

The temperature was in the low seventies with a warm breeze that rustled the leaves of the large silver maple in my backyard.  It was just enough of a breeze the keep the mosquitoes down.  It was one of those perfect moments.  I kicked back and enjoyed the firework display being put on by the locals and as I sat there I thought to myself how fortunate I was to be an American.  I thought about how much I owe the founding fathers of our nation for their willingness to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their scared honor so that one day I too could be secure in my rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You see the Declaration of Independence was more than just thirteen colonies declaring their independence from England.  In the end it defined the kind of relationship that should exist between a people and their government.  It declared all political power ultimately resides with the sovereignty of the people and when that relationship became despotic in nature it was time to cut the bonds that linked the two and end the relationship.  It was about the role government should play in our lives and the responsibility we had as citizens.

What many people can’t grasp today is that the Declaration of Independence is the foundational document that all other governing documents were built off of in the early beginnings of our republic.  Both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were crafted with the understanding that governments should be established to secure the unalienable rights of people not to trample upon them or usurp them.  Any government that exceeds this charter must be viewed as one that is despotic in nature and the people have a right to alter or abolish it.  Take a few moments to read the below excerpt from the Declaration of Independence; very powerful words that say it all.

  • 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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


This defines the role we must play as citizens.  We have a duty and responsibility, to hold our elected officials accountable when they ignore or completely disregard the rights of the people and seek to usurp our individual sovereignty through the power of direct taxation, regulations and executive order.  We have a duty and responsibility to stay informed on the issues and to educate our children about liberty and freedom because the ignorant can be easily manipulated.  We have a duty and responsibility to lead by example in all things we do.

Today is a day we celebrate our independence; however it’s about more than declaring independence from England, it also about declaring independence from any form of government that becomes despotic in nature and usurps the unalienable rights of the people.  This is the independence our founders fought for and the independence we should all cherish and defend.  The role government plays in our lives MUST be limited and for those in Washington D.C. who see this role differently, it’s time for you to go.  I’ll do everything in my power this November to honor our founding fathers and the “Spirit of 76” they held in their hearts to make sure you’re looking for a new job come November 7.  I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to defend liberty and defeat tyranny no matter what form it takes.  It is my duty and my responsibility as a citizen of this great nation.

Happy Independence Day and God bless America.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • Maggie@MaggiesNotebook July 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    John, this is a stirring post that gave me goosebumps as I read it. Thanks for all you do to keep reminding us of our responsibilities of the greatest Nation “under God.” Happy Independence Day to you and your family.
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  • Steve Dennis July 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Wonderful post John and I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day! I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote and sadly I think that too many people today don’t understand what the founders true intentions were. They wanted to be free of overburdensome government no matter who the oppressors were. In 1775-76 the oppressor was Great Britain but today our oppressor is our own government and we have a duty to shed ourselves from the shackles of incumbersome regulation and I hope we are up to the task. We cannot be the generation who let everything our founders fought for slip away.
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    • John Carey July 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Thanks Steve. They don’t understand because our public school system has failed us and we have placed too much trust in their capacity to teach our children about the things that matters. We should be teaching our children about liberty, freedom, and the role government should be playing in our lives. Until we reverse that trend there will be very little hope for the future I fear. I hope you had a very great day Steve.
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      • Steve Dennis July 5, 2012 at 5:00 AM

        So true John, it is our responsibility to make sure our children know about our founding history because we cannot count on the schools to do it.
        Steve Dennis recently posted..Independence Day 2012My Profile

  • LD Jackson July 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Well said, John. Every American needs to do everything they can to throw off the ties if dependency and assert our liberty. We should exercise our freedom and vote accordingly.

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