“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
These closing words of The Declaration of Independence always stir the pride I feel being an American. This week we all will celebrate our country’s birthday. Picnics, family, friends, outings in Montana’s splendor and of course, great fireworks displays are all a part of the 4th of July. It is my favorite holiday.
We Americans are a rowdy bunch, we love robust debate, arguments on policy and direction, and an occasional good fight. But we are also a family, and once a year we all share our common birthday. Political foes become teammates on sandlot softball pickup games; ideology is set aside as parents cheer on their children in three-legged or gunny sack races. Watermelon juices drip from the faces of both 8 and 80 year olds, and OOHs and AAHs fill the air as great blasts of color light the night sky. Of course, no 4th would be complete with a rousing rendition of “The Stars and Stripes, Forever.”
For 56 years I have started my 4th with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. It inspires me like no other document ever has. Mr. Jefferson’s words truly touch me and leave me with a feeling of joy knowing that I am part of the great experiment in liberty; and with each reading, I find renewed resolve to cherish and protect that liberty.
This week I have no words about firearms, we’ll get back to them in the next column. But I do have a wish; A VERY, VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF US.
Be safe and good shooting.