Daily Archives: July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Today we celebrate our country’s independence from Great Britain. It was a Shot Heard ‘Round the World.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, I was taught about Christopher Columbus, but not about Benjamin Franklin. I was taught about Juan Ponce de Leon, but not about Patrick Henry. I came to live in Texas in the summer of 1976, during the Bicentennial celebrations. I asked my dad why everything was red, white, and blue, and he told me it was a very important year. We were celebrating 200 years of being a country.

He said “WE”. That is when I realized that although I was Puerto Rican, I was an American. And as I grew older, and learned about the sacrifices men made in order to break free from tyranny, I began to see this place with new eyes. So often a revolution will simply remove one bad government and replace it with another just as bad (and don’t get me started on the French Revolution!). But the American Revolution was different. It didn’t seek to substitute a government. It sought to establish a government based on principles that had been lost by centuries of neglect. The people had been lost to power, and it was time to return that power to the people.

I’m no Constitutional scholar by any stretch, and this is simply my opinion. But it seems to me that of late, the people are losing the power over the government. I can’t really articulate it well. All I know is this:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Our Founding Fathers wrote this on the Declaration of Independence. And they meant it. The question is if the time comes, will we mean it, too?