This article is a quote from the foreword to The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States, published by The Heritage Foundation. "...The Declaration of Independence, adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776, publicly announced to the world the unanimous decision of the American colonies to declare themselves free and independent states, absolved from any allegiance to Great Britain. Yet it is also the definitive American statement of the conditions of legitimate political authority, the ends of government, and the sovereignty of the people. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, called it "the fundamental Act of Union of these States."
The Declaration of Independence is chiefly the work of Thomas Jefferson, who described it as "an expression of the American mind," intended to 'place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent." Its words remain striking: "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." Abraham Lincoln said that when future generations read these words they would realize that "they have a right to claim it as though they were the blood and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote the Declaration, and so they are." You can contact heritage.org for more information on our conservative constitutional values. May our Creator, the Father of Jesus Christ, protect you and guide you to your eternal rest.
Chaplain John Szilvasy