Envision this scene: A group of patriots gather in a hall in Philadelphia in a steamy late-June 1776 to make plans for a secession…a revolution. So they set about enumerating the many acts of tyranny committed by King George and his minions against the British citizens of the colonies.
A Virginia aristocrat named Thomas Jefferson was given the task of drafting the document. In mere days, he writes a document which will come to be regarded as the most important statement of human freedom in the history of mankind.
Many scholars believe that Jefferson meant for the Declaration of Independence to be performed, not just read by individuals. The flow of the words and the cadence of the phrases are an invitation to the human voice and the human ear.
The greatest value of the Declaration of Independence is its function as a compass needle, pointing always to that true north of the ideals declared within it. No matter how far We the People have strayed from its ideals, we have only to acknowledge our errors and return to the fundamental values published therein. For only in this document do we find the template for human liberty and governance.
Fulfilling the goals of any Declaration of Independence is a struggle that demands constant vigilance. We have all borne the tyranny visited upon us when we have taken our eyes off liberty’s compass. And though the struggle to return to true liberty may be perilous and arduous, it will also be ennobling. We still desire the sweet fruits of liberty, and our progeny still need heroes.
It is with great pleasure and pride that I present to you an interpretive reading of the 1776 Declaration of Independence. May liberty-loving men and women re-dedicate their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor to the quest to be Free and Independent States once more.
If you can watch this interpretive reading without tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat, you are dead inside.
Russell D. Longcore is a writer and Internet Marketing Consultant living in Atlanta. For more articles by Russ Longcore, go to his blog