By Colonel Robert E. Frank, USAF (Ret.), Henderson, Nevada (LI Profile) <ColonelBobFrank@gmail.com>
The 2nd paragraph of our American Declaration of Independence tell us what we did and why we need to continue to remember and celebrate it:
“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 to 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.”
That truly historic statement contains a special meaning for veterans and their families. Today, too many Americans believe that our citizens and government leaders are so self-centered enjoying the fruits of our military-won, globally-exceptionally lives that they fail to honor what it took to earn those freedoms. They don’t stop to realize what it requires to be truly committed to faithfully preserve our unique “Constitutional Republic”.
But, we Veterans understand the cost of protecting our hard-won freedoms. And each of us has our own special idea about how to keep our vision alive. For one thing, it is our sacred, eternal duty to work to preserve the legacy that a very small group of founders and militia so selflessly, fearlessly and successfully won about 250 years ago from the tyranny of the world’s most powerful King.
Since military veterans and family members have received special training, had unique world experiences, and sometimes have paid the highest price for our liberty with their lives, it is up to those of us still living to keep the flame of our heritage alive and vibrant.
We can each think of special ways to do this at home and in our communities. One way to do this is by including some time this year during moments special to us to discuss our unique history and to renew our lifetime pledges to protect our nation from all enemies—foreign and domestic.
Veterans with foreign military experiences can do this by helping others become more aware of the facts showing that our American Republic and unique independence has worked far better than any other form of democratic, socialist, communist or fascist government.
Here are just a few words explaining why a “republic” is far superior, from a citizen’s perspective, than a “democracy”.
“The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use a representational system — i.e., citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. In a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a “pure democracy,” the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.” (https://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic)
Another way to celebrate might be to sponsor a family game or contest on the history of “democracy” including some facts about our government institutions and electoral system. Many middle school and high school students within our families might enjoy knowing more from someone with real experience who has been a part of the process. Some people might also enjoy including some sections in the game or contest that discuss the special moral, religious and human principles behind our American laws and way of life.
As we celebrate this year, I hope all veterans, their families and friends have a joyous, safe and fun American Independence Day! And, please be creative, as were our Founding Fathers, about how you help lead others to find new and better ways preserve the history of our American Independence heritage.