Our inspired, striving, achieving, disappointing, kind, violent, peaceful, beautiful, decaying, brilliant, superficial, hard working, lazy, fabulous and flawed country had perhaps the most elegant beginning in the history of the world. It went like this:

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

With that one-sentence paragraph, the document that launched a revolution and a revolutionary concept in governance paused to do the decent thing.

We, the women of Women’s Voices For Change, call upon ourselves, and on our countrywomen, to remind everyone and anyone we can that the document we celebrate today begins with the mention of decency and respect. How little else it takes to maintain a society’s health and well-being. How very capable each and every one of us is of conducting ourselves with these two concepts as our guiding lights.

Once again, we remind ourselves there is nothing to fear in what is not new.

May you see the sky light up with beauty tonight. May we all light up with renewed fervor for decency and respect for the opinions of others. May we remember the inspiration of the elegant beginning of this nation. May we help it to be a heartbeat both simple and complex that circulates the lifeblood of compassion and caring that can make us a great nation in a new way or an old way renewed.

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  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger July 4, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you for reminding us of the First Principles of democracy and freedom and for summoning a great moment in musical theatre. A wonderful cap for a beautiful day! E

  • Diane Vacca July 4, 2009 at 12:43 am