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; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.

Today is the day that we, in the United States, celebrate our independence from Great Britain. Most of the people in this country will celebrate with food, drink, family, sports, and fireworks... lots and lots of fireworks. That is, to me, proof that our experiment is working. Most of the people in this country have access to the things they need in life and enough left over to have some fun now and then. There are, of course, too many people who do not. There are people who can't afford enough food, there are people who have family that cannot come home, but overall, for most of us, this is a day of relaxation and fun.

This country sometimes makes mistakes, the leaders we have selected are human, and humans are not perfect. We are fortunate, that when we separated ourselves from Britain, we set up a system of government that acknowledges that our leaders are fallible. We put checks and balances in place. And they have, overwhelmingly worked.

Our strength has made us secure, perhaps too secure. We sometimes forget that it is the strength that brings that security and it is fact that we keep our government weak that puts that strength into the hands of the citizens. Remember, when you go about your day, the strength of this country is the people, and has been for more than two centuries. That's why we celebrate.

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