We celebrate the holiday on July 4 because that’s when Congress made independence official. It wasn’t until Aug. 2 that members began signing the document.
Not all of the discussions ended in a noble outcome. For instance, when the document was finally approved, anti-slavery passages had been expunged at the insistence of most of the Southern delegates.
Therein lies a lesson for us. We are a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and some of those people are going to be scoundrels.
This July Fourth, as we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, let us continue to celebrate that most fundamental of declarations of human liberty and independence — most-often erroneously attributed to Voltaire: “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.”