Declaration of Independence
How fitting that July 4 is the national holiday for our nation’s birthday. July 4 is the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress (though most of the signers actually signed later, many on Aug. 2).
We could have picked July 2 — the date of the vote to separate from Great Britain — but we celebrate the day of the document, not the day of the death of British rule.
How fitting this is as a way to honor the memory of the 56 men who signed the declaration, whom we may generally describe as men who wanted something so much, they would rather die fighting for it than live in a world without it.
The declaration was a death warrant. In the words of Benjamin Rush, of Pennsylvania, describing the Aug. 2 signing: “Awful silence pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants.”
The most famous reference to death by a signer is probably Benjamin Franklin’s line: “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately!” For the 56 who signed the declaration, death was a real possibility.
Yet sign they did.
And “for the support of this Declaration,” which declared “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,” they “mutually pledge[d] to each other [their] Lives, [their] Fortunes and [their] sacred Honor.” In a word, everything.
How fitting a tribute to those willing to risk everything by signing the Declaration of Independence that our national holiday to celebrate our national birthday is on July 4, the day of the document.
Now, 247 years later, are we able to walk in the footsteps of the signers? Is there anything you believe in so strongly you would rather die fighting for it than live in a world without it?
Future of air travel
Sen. Lujan has a great responsibility coming up in the FAA reauthorization. The future of air travel, and how we as passengers are protected, are at stake.
How often have we seen the stories of passengers stuck on the tarmac for hours or having a flight cancelled for an unknown (and often unexplained) reason? All too often passengers are stuck holding the short end of the stick when it comes to flying.
Thankfully, the new FAA reauthorization grants and strengthens the rights of passengers. I know that there is all sorts of other factors that go into getting this legislation passed, but Sen. Lujan shouldn’t let those factors delay this important bill.
Last time it took years to pass this thanks to the typical political games we see in Congress. I hope Sen. Lujan doesn’t allow that to happen this time.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.