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Edmondson: Celebrate our freedoms this Independence Month – Cross Timbers Gazette | Southern Denton County | Flower Mound

Recently, many of us celebrated America’s birthday with fireworks, parades, flag waving, and family gatherings. And I, like the rest of us, really enjoyed those Fourth of July festivities.

It has occurred to me, however, that we could really use more than just one day for our patriotic activities on the 248th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. I would like to suggest that we dedicate the entire month of July to remembering the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. You may recall the report that a citizen of the new country asked Founding Father Benjamin Franklin what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had given our people, to which he replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

We should count it among our blessings that our forefathers had the foresight to recognize the many challenges facing a republic and the strength of will to create a document that would stand the test of time. In light of the difficult times today, take a moment to reflect on their words from this declaration:

“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.”

Let us now consider the preamble to the US Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Peace, provide for the national defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the happiness of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, we do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Many people confuse the terms republic and democracy and even use them interchangeably. But it’s important to remember that America is a republic that elects its government through a democratic process. While a republic is generally defined as a system of government whose power is limited by a charter or constitution, often to protect the rights of individuals, a democracy is instead governed by the wishes of the majority, with no protections for individuals of a minority.

Never thought of that? Not sure? Listen as we recite our pledge: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands. One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In this time of great disunity, one truth stands firm. We are all one Nation, one Republic, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

These timeless words have carried us through many difficult times over the past two and a half centuries. And while we feel more divided than ever, these striking passages remind us once again how fortunate we are to be part of a country built on the foundation of freedoms – freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government within the limits of its own constitution.

The key elements of our U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence remind us that we are all one people, one nation, one entity. We may have different opinions, political influences and experiences, but we are united as one country – the United States of America. Staying true to the foresight of our forefathers and upholding their vision of freedom is the key to true patriotism, so let us continue our patriotic celebrations throughout July.

Contact Commissioner Dianne Edmondson by email at (email protected) or by phone at 972-434-3960. You may also stop by her office at the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900, in Flower Mound.