Photo Credit: Doron Horowitz/Flash90

For some reason, as July rolls in on us, I am reminded of an anniversary unrelated to our Declaration of Independence.

People are crowding social media to post images of the U.S. flag and offer July as America’s real Pride Month.  There’s something to that, though I’d rather think of it as Liberty Month.  The very word “Pride” rings wrong, for a nation whose primary cultural heritage is anchored by the two great faiths that eschew pride as an evil, if one bases a way of life on it, and obtrudes it on one’s relations to God and men.  Liberty, on the other hand, is a blessing precious and rare, one to celebrate with humility and commitment, remembering its costs paid by our forebears and its benefits for our children and their children after them.


But there’s also something to simply recalling that July is a whole month, and not just the 4th day, which we commemorate as our Independence Day.  The Battle of Gettysburg was fought 1-3 July, and indeed the year 2023 is the 160th anniversary of its sanguinary passage in 1863.

The French Revolution, with its very different political shape and outcome, also took place in a sweltering July in 1789.  Every year, Americans in France and French in America join to celebrate our national days, separated in some ways by wide gulfs, but in one sense by only 10 days.  France was our first ally, a liaison we can never forget.

In 2023, however, the anniversary I’m thinking of is 27 July.  That’s the date of the Armistice of 1953 in America’s “Forgotten War”:  Korea.

It’s a historically astounding fact that an armistice of such magnitude has outlasted at least one of the governments principally implicated in its motivations and outline.  While China was a more proximate ground presence in the intense fighting period of the Korean War, the former Soviet Union was very much involved.  The Korean War was a trumpet blast of the Cold War:  alongside Mao’s revolution in China, the next major movement after the post-1945 infiltrations of Stalin in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East; and the Berlin Airlift; and the Truman Doctrine.

It’s hard to take in that an armistice – a deliberately unsettled point of agreed tension – has officially lasted for 70 years.  Fewer and fewer Koreans are alive on either side of the DMZ who were on earth during the war.  Fewer and fewer from the military coalition that fought the war are alive, including Americans.

And the Soviet Union didn’t survive the passage of time.  It collapsed from within more than 30 years ago, when the armistice had fewer than 40 anniversaries under its belt.

We may attribute the endurance of the Korean Armistice to two factors: its convenience for the more powerful nations in the Far East, for which a divided Korean Peninsula keeps a lot of costly maneuvering at bay; and the “Pax Americana” that until about a decade ago assured a stasis in international affairs that largely discouraged sudden moves and adventurism.

Remarkably, the superpower nation principally involved in the Korean War was the youngest with a national identity, but had the oldest continuous government.  China, Korea, and Russia are all far older than the United States in terms of nations with unique identities, identity groupings, and languages. But, then as now, the government of the American upstart had been inaugurated decades earlier than the others’, had survived a civil war, and had met the 20th century challenge of radical subversion and attempts at cultural revolution seemingly without more than a blink.

Of the “belligerent” nations in the Korean War, only the government of the United Kingdom was older than America’s.  (Even the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in today’s incarnation, dated only to 1815.)

From the remove of 70 years, we find it easy and almost automatic in 2023 to say, “That was a different America back then.”  And it was.  We can’t deceive ourselves about that.  Many things were better, though some things (e.g., equality of black Americans before the law) improved significantly in the ensuing decades.

In the last 20-30 years, I think many Americans would say they aren’t sure what happened to make things measurably worse than they were at an earlier time.  There’s no shortage of analyses, of course; some people will be very sure of their opinions on the matter.  Rather than listing the main ones, I think it’s more useful on our national day to think in the biggest, most basic terms, not so much about method but about the nature, across the recent decades, of radicalizing attacks on conscience and belief.

Since that armistice was signed 70 years ago, our society and culture have been under a relentless, vilifying attack on the most important elements of the Declaration of Independence: not the list of grievances (though they are always illuminating to reread), but the basic statements of principle in the first paragraphs.

Our relationships with our Creator have been under an assault of a magnitude probably not seen before in written history.  And the same may be said of the unalienable rights in paragraph two: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It almost goes without saying that when the Creator and the rights are attacked with the intent of destruction, the idea of instituting government to secure those rights goes by the wayside.

In 2023, it isn’t too much to say that the loudest, most insistent voices come from factions that urge a cult of death, hate liberty, and advocate pursuing not happiness but perpetual resentment and the power to hold others at risk on whatever manufactured premises they please.

So here we are.  After 247 years of declared independence, we have nearly the oldest still-extant government on the planet, dating formally to 1789:  one that has survived longer than most governments throughout the Western world – and indeed as a consensual, self-governing republic, not a monarchy with built-in stabilizing mechanisms.  Yet many are gravely worried about our civic unity and stability, given the seeming abandonment of our first love and the loss of our civic-moral compass.

It isn’t to leave readers brooding in despair that I write of these things, however.  The reason is simple:  it doesn’t take government to restore an optimistic moral sense and spirit in the people – and I don’t think there’s as much work to be done as we imagine.

We see the trends around us through a glass darkly.  That’s as good a characterization of what the media present to us as anything I can think of.  We have no real idea how many people in America not only live still by the creed of Creator-Provider, endowed rights, and life, liberty, and happiness, but believe in it and yearn for it and are not prepared to give it up.  We know instead the discouraging picture the media are apt to present to us on this point.  No matter how many times they demonstrably lie to us and misrepresent events and their meaning to us, we keep reflexively believing them when they solemnly proclaim that Americans have lost faith, hope, and love.

It serves the political purpose of most of the media to “report” these things.  But their reports don’t make surveys, polls, or propaganda-driven opinion ground truth about our world.  There’s good evidence from 2020, ignored and mocked by the media and unknown to the vast majority of Americans who’ve never bothered to look into it, that even elections no longer reliably tell us what the people’s majority really believes and wants.

Government has become so compromised, in fact, that we can speak legitimately of needing to comprehensively restore fealty to our actual Constitution.  But there’s a real likelihood that this wouldn’t require a wholesale regeneration of the people, but a rededication of the plurality, probably even majority, of us who still navigate by worshiping and serving God, and passing on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the greatest endowment to our children.

Even if regeneration among the people is required, the good news is that that’s not government’s job, and if there’s a Creator who gave us rights He would see defended, government can’t stop it.

America’s existential passages have not been easy ones.  But out of the first one came the most remarkable constitutional charter ever written, and a declaration of independence whose words need no editing, and never did at any point before 1776 or since.  Out of the second, the Civil War, came the repudiation of human slavery in thundering cannon and cataclysm, the repudiation that ultimately changed the mind of the entire world as nothing else ever had through millennia back before history.

In the most bloodthirsty century man has ever seen, America retained a calm center and resisted the widely-proclaimed “world-historical crisis” and “march of history” that were supposed to take down all life, liberty, and happiness.  In our inevitably imperfect way, we went about doing what only one nation could do: serve as a lodestone and guarantor of what peace, freedom, and the relations of man and the state ought to be.

It was never foreordained, by human calculation, that we would survive any of these passages.

But we did.  Starting in 1776, America has beaten the odds every time.  Don’t count us out now.  Remember the simplicity and power of our founding beliefs: a Creator who gave us rights, the use of government to secure them, and the priorities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Don’t forget the order: the Creator comes first.

But seek His kingdom, and all the other things will be added to us as a blessing, to hold in stewardship and pass on for generations to come.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, our annual tradition:

The Sound of Freedom

YouTube video

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

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.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Our Army shipmates give us a rousing “Star-Spangled Banner.”


Let Freedom Ring.


{Reposted from the author’s site}



Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleSecurity Footage of the Tel Aviv Terror Attack
Next article“Steven, You’re a National Disaster!” – Lighten Up! [audio]