Thursday, July 4, 2013

America - our new Adventure

Assembly Room, Independence Hall
Independence National Historical Park
Philadelphia, PA

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...

...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.

We owe a debt to these men - traitors, the lot.  By signing their names and banding together, they effectively told the King of England he was an idiot.  And think about it -- he was.  He had a whole other continent to expand into, but England got greedy.  These "Founding Fathers" understood that their homes were at risk, their families now under scrutiny, and their lives nearly forefeit - to attach their names to this document was the highest act of treason.  For many of them, this was the greatest Adventure of their lives.

And yes, "equal" was then a relative concept.  In order to get the Declaration passed, a clause about the abomination of slavery was scratched out, reluctantly for many.  But those in ardent favor of Independence were wise enough to know that being a nation would be a process, and this was only the first step.  This country has adjusted its thinking in the last 237 years, and sure, there's a lot of work to be done still.  But like any person - this country learns as it grows,  and gains wisdom as she ages.  Like her people, she is not perfect, and things about these united States change over time.  But the words of the 56 men who pledged their honor live on in this independent nation.

This is going to be the "anchor" post for a new series - Luke's American Adventures.  We are going to be studying American history for two years.  Part of Luke's writing assignments will be to share here what he has learned, and to show how America is a living entity.  You'll start seeing him appear in the next few weeks.  Updates may be sporadic, as they'll depend on how quickly he is moving through his work.  While I will be acting as Editor-in-Chief, unless otherwise noted these are his thoughts, his experiences, and what he has learned.  I've given him permission for the format to be what he feels the material wants to be - a photojournal with captioning, an informational writing, a recipe for a food that contributes to the unique American table, or even a call to action.  It's likely to be as varied as America herself. We hope you'll join us.

P is for Patriot
Teach Beside Me

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  1. What a great series to start. Looking forward to what he has to say.

  2. Sounds like fun and what a great idea to have your son personally share what you all are learning. My hubby keeps asking when we'll study American History and now with Notgrass I can combine old world history with American. Have fun!

  3. Luke, it will be good to see what you come up with. :)

  4. Meg, I love this idea! Remind me again how old Luke is...
    What a great way to foster independence and responsibility! Hope he enjoys it...we look forward to reading his thoughts!

    1. He'll be 15 next month - starting his 10th grade year. He's not a huge fan of writing papers, so I'm hoping this is a more "relaxed" way to practice writing.

  5. How neat! I am looking forward to reading how it goes.

  6. What a great idea! It's so important to know the history of your own country, and recording your journey through it will be a priceless memory, as well as narration to make the knowledge your own. Can't wait to hear all about it!


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