They knew they would die if they failed. They signed anyway.
On the 4th of July. 1776, fifty-six brave men signed a document laying out the reasons for a war that was already in progress. In a few brief words they outlined a profound statement about the nature of government. As old men they would hear the words of the document they signed read aloud every 4th of July. They wanted us to remember, too. The reading of the Declaration of Independence on Independence Day was carried out that we not forget that Americans were the people who viewed government as a tool no more significant that a plow or plumbers helper.
“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. “
Each of us is born free; that is God's gift. Tens of thousands of people came together at the beginning of the American Revolution that a people might govern themselves. Having experienced the weight of oppression, they viewed government with suspicion and wrote a Constitution to limit government's power, reserving nearly every function to the people.
This Friday, remember them and also what we must do to restore the legacy they left us.
They were practical men; when you have fought a war, seen your loved ones die, you focus in on what matters most profoundly. The right to decide how we will order our affairs remains ours today no matter what you hear from government.
Over the last century too many of us have forgotten, with devastating results. Today we are less free than the colonists who came together to enact America. Ron Paul has spent most of his life sending this message; It is the message we need to mainstream to Americans today, showing them how the Constitution and Common Law were intended to be used.
At the time of the Revolution every school child understood the Common Law. It was a part of their heritage as Englishmen. The Common Law is based on simple principles. It provides each individual with the means of securing justice as it had for hundreds of years. The Common Law, used with the Constitution, placed control firmly in the hands of the people.