Jim Hofmann

As we approach Independence Day, it is a good time to think about our God-given freedoms. We might consider the sacrifices of those who pledged their lives their fortunes and their sacred honor to claim those freedoms for us, to guarantee those freedoms for us the in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. We might reflect a moment and consider all who since then have fought and died to preserve and protect those freedoms on battlefields and in the halls of Congress.

Forged in the crucible of a Revolutionary War, our forefathers victoriously gained the right for the United States to claim its place as a free and independent nation among the nations of the world. The process of creating a nation of “We the People” was no easy task.

If we cherish our freedoms, now is a good time to reacquaint ourselves with the Declaration and our Constitution. These two documents, two of the most important documents in the history of civilization, guarantee the right for our nation to exist and the right for us to be free to follow our dreams.

If we do not know the importance of these documents as they relate to our freedom, we will lose our freedom. If we weaken either through ignorance or neglect to protect the rights endowed upon us by our Creator, we will lose those rights. It is that simple.

Since the 1960s, it has been common practice to denigrate those who created our nation. Since the 1960s, the executive and legislative branches of our government have created special interest czars and entitlement programs to buy votes. We the people are selling our birthright of freedom for a bowl of pottage.

We play the most important role in defending our freedoms. It is our dedication and commitment to be the best we can be that will keep us free. It is not only our birthright but our responsibility to learn, work, contribute, build and provide for ourselves, our families and those less fortunate. It is our responsibility to raise children who know our historic ideals and live by them.

We started with all men are created equal and then instituted a legal system that denied freedom for all. A nation divided against itself cannot stand. That will not work; the Civil War proved it.

America is unique. There is no such thing as an American race. We do not have a government theocracy. All we have to hold us together is the belief that here in America, it is the people who are most important – not the government, big business or special interest groups. As we celebrate our Independence Day, read the Declaration, read the Constitution and know without those two documents America ceases to exist and will become a nation “Of the government, By the government and For the government.” When you consider the millions who have died to prevent that from happening, it would truly be a shame to throw it all away for government handouts.

It is important to learn about and respect other cultures. It is vital that that we assist new citizens who left wherever to come here to live free because there was so little freedom and opportunity where they were.

As Abraham Lincoln said: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Likewise, let us not forget that when asked of Benjamin Franklin, Mr. Franklin what kind of government have you given us he responded, “A republic madam if you can keep it.”

We can’t keep our republic if we fail to respect the ideals that created it. We can’t defend our republic if we define ourselves by our differences.

Study our history. Learn from what we did right and how to avoid repeating what we did wrong. If we stand united for freedom and justice for all, this Republic can right itself and return to its former greatness.

It’s the Fourth of July! Celebrate the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands.

E Pluribus Unum.

Jim Hofmann lives in Moab.