Independence Day in These United States

Happy Independence Day, America! To all our friends, customers, suppliers, and neighbors, we hope you are enjoying the holiday, and what is likely a long holiday weekend or even a whole vacation week. For some of you, we know that you are about to move, are settling into your new home, or maybe even a moving truck is on the road right now with your valuable belongings in it. One we hope has boxes in it from us!

In between the cookouts, beach and pool parties, parades, and all the other summer holiday activities, let’s take a moment to reflect on this, the 241st birthday of our nation, The United States of America. Or, as it was more commonly called in its first century or so, “These United States.” We’re entering the 242nd year of our Republic. This is also the 230th year of our Constitution, which in 1787 replaced our original Articles of Confederation with a new basic law “to form a more perfect Union

In the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence itself, 241 years ago today:

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…

All. “All men are created equal”, which at the time and until recent decades meant “all people, male and female” – though it took much struggle before all people were free, and until all could vote. As imperfectly and unfairly as it was first implemented, the ideal has always been a nation for all, rights for all, a unity in our highest principles.

Throughout our history, at times messy and even violent, initially not as fair to all people as it could have been and as we the people have improved it to this day where we find flaws, there is always this concept of unity. No, not of thought, certainly not of politics (the Founders and Framers had all sorts of arguments!), nor of religion, ethnicity, race, gender, ancestral background, nor anything else you can point to and say “looks like this, sounds like that” – rather, of an idea of a country that could be and which We The People would strive to make live up to its ideals – a shared belief in an nation with liberty and justice for all. Many different ideas of how to do that, but an agreement on the broad principles. And a basic assumption that whether one was of this party or that one, of one religion or another or none at all, of European or Asian or African or Pacific Islander or Native American heritage, we were somehow still One People. As our nation grew geographically, by moving across and through this great land, just as your family may be moving right now, still united in that dream of one great nation with liberty and justice for all. United in a great experiment of representative Democracy in our Constitutional Republic.

Sometimes that’s hard to find in recent years. For this Independence Day, we would like to ask all our sister and brother fellow Americans, to try to find that unity, and to make that leap of faith that even those with whom we disagree on approach, are part of our same Union in these United States, all hoping and working for a way to make our nation live up even better to our ideals.

Now let’s go celebrate the birth of our country, and of the longest-lasting continuous constitutional democracy in the world. Let’s be united in moving ahead and ever-improving our nation.