“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.”
– The Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence
240 years ago today, a new kind of nation was born. The adoption of the Declaration of Independence marked the beginning of a new era, not only for the citizens of the infant nation, but for the course of human history. Through trials and tribulations, the United States forged a new destiny. Little did the Founding Fathers know that a single declaration would ingrain in its future citizens a will to innovate and to change the world.
The impetus for Declaration of Independence was the desire for freedom. At the time of the signing, the colonies had been at war with the British empire for over a year. The colonies desired freedom from tyranny and the liberty to conduct their affairs independently and without foreign interference. This freedom did not come without cost. There were more than 10,000 casualties as a result of the Revolutionary War. The hard-fought independence resulted in the greatest country the world has ever seen.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence was, at its core, innovative. Never before had a country drafted a document that enumerated so many liberties to be granted to so many. The seeds of future American innovation were planted at the signing Declaration of Independence. From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates, innovators were able to transform the world in a uniquely American way. Innovators are not content with the status quo. They take action and, through willpower and skill, alter the course. From government to medicine to transportation, American innovators have left an indelible mark on the world.
The Fourth of July offers a day to celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy today as a direct result of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Though the Declaration of Independence was signed 240 years ago, the freedoms outlined in that document have lived on, and will continue to live on, for generations to come. With these freedoms, not only are we able to live according to our own ideals, we are able to innovate in order to make the world a better place to live. This Independence Day, let us all celebrate that American exceptionalism that made this country great.