I came upon a very interesting fact. Though the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776 by the United States Continental Congress, it was read to George Washington’s troops on July 9th in New York City.
I have to wonder what our first US troops were thinking. They knew they were going to war with the British Empire (at the time, one of the largest superpowers), they had less ammunition, less men, no navy to speak of, and only few friends in the British Parliament.
I remember hearing a friend of mine who is a World War 2 veteran say that when Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, that they were all scared of what was to come. However, a voice over the radio inspired them to action. That was the voice of President Franklin Roosevelt. His masterful leadership aroused them and patriotism gave them courage.
George Washington’s troops did not actually have a nation to speak of at the time. There was no US Constitution, the Articles of Confederation were not even written yet, but they heard a strong voice too. That was the voice of America’s first great general and our very first President. It was one that told them that they had truths to hold to: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That is what they were fighting for.
George Washington read the Declaration of Independence to his troops, because he wanted them to know exactly what they were fighting for. They were fighting for liberty, freedom, and life.
In this day and age, inspiring leadership is hard to find. Let us be stirred to action not by greed or selfishness, but let us be stirred by that basic right that is given to us through God, and from our Declaration of Independence. Let us remember what our the Founding Fathers of our United States said:
“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.”