We live in a world in which history is rewritten, either by the winners or by movie producers. When school starts this fall, too many students will have come to accept Hollywood's popular presentation that Abraham Lincoln hunted vampires -- oh, and that Independence Day is a film about an alien attack on earth.
Long before those pesky aliens attacked earth, there was the non-fictional signing of the Declaration of Independence. And long before the comic book character Captain America punched Adolf Hitler, the founders were our first real superheroes. They chose their eloquent words carefully. The appealing concept of being independent was a result of the founders' self-evident truth that all people are created equal and therefore enjoy unalienable rights. Equal --not entitled.
Being and remaining independent is the responsibility of every citizen of our country. The opposite of remaining independent is to become dependent. Too many people today are content with relying on the government to take care of them; they are drawn to handouts. Relying on others for support is a path to becoming subordinate. It is a path to becoming controlled. The safety net often becomes a snare.
Our history is about courage, hard work, morality and compassion. But it's also about greed, corruption, lies and abuses of power. It's a tightrope to remain independent, but the hard work is worth the effort.
Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, also said, "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Maintaining our independence seems like work worth doing.