On The Meaning Of The Declaration Of Independence


Thia painting shows the signers of the Declaration of Independence quite literally putting their lives "on the line" at the signing ceremony. Their signatures on the document would authenticate the charge of treason for any of these men.


It was a bold move that the framers of the Declaration chose to make. But they were convinced that it was the sole choice that remained for them. Thomas Jefferson was appointed to draft the document, and it was his task to express the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people after many years of frustration and oppression.


Because they believed that the British Crown had no right to tax them so brutally, the "self-evident truths" of which Jefferson spoke were born out of the religious views of the Founding Fathers-that God is the giver of our human rights, not a king, and that it is His intent that His people enjoy those rights, including the right to self-government and taxation as well as religious freedom.


In signing the Declaration of Independence, they were genuinely putting their lives at stake, for any of them could have been captured and tried for treason. But this did not hold them back from declaring their allegiance to this just cause.


John Hancock is said to have signed his name in such large letters that the King could read it without his spectacles. Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island is said to have guided his right hand with his left, due to a nerve disorder. His words as he signed: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."


Words From The President On Independence Day


On Independence Day, we remember names like Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin, and we honor their courage and vision. We are grateful that our Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create an independent America. And we are thankful that this Nation under God is still free, independent, and the best hope of mankind.


America is a place of freedom and opportunity. We are caring toward neighbors in need and generous to the sick and struggling. We are a strong, decent, and good-hearted country. All of us are blessed to be citizens of the United States and are proud to call America our home.


This Fourth of July weekend, we think of the men and women who are defending our freedom as members of the United States military. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, they are fighting the terrorists who threaten America and the civilized world.

Our Nation honors these brave men and women, and their families, for their service and sacrifice. Laura and I send our best wishes to all Americans for a safe and happy Independence Day. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

~~ George W. Bush


Visit the Presidential Prayer Team website at http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/. The team recently announced that its "Adopt Our Troops" initiative has surpassed the milestone of one million troop adoptions.