Remembering our founding ideals this Fourth of July

Published 9:26 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

Independence Day is a joyous time to celebrate our freedoms, show our pride in our country and remember our founding principles that have endured for more than two centuries.

On Saturday, July 4, America will be celebrating its 239th birthday.

A tired and restless Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted on July 2, 1776, to approve a resolution of independence that was proposed by Richard Henry Lee.

Two days later, the Congress adopted the official Declaration of Independence and the famous words written by Thomas Jefferson were read aloud to the public: “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.”

With brave voices, our Founding Fathers risked their lives and those of their families and friends to stand up against injustice and tyranny. Their actions would change the world.

To commemorate this courageous act of liberty, we celebrate Independence Day each July 4th.

As Southwest Michigan families join with their communities to honor America, let us always remember the founding ideals behind this celebration.

American history is filled with patriots who risked their lives and often died to defend our cornerstone beliefs, and it is important that every Michigan student understand the key tenets that have helped define us as a nation and as a people.

That is why I supported Senate Bill 209, which encourages all Michigan schools to provide grade-level instruction on the core principles of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Michigan Constitution.

As a father and a public servant, I know that it matters what we teach our children. It is important that the next generation of leaders know and appreciate America’s founding principles, such as those outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

These principles of liberty and self-determination were at the heart of our founding, have shaped our representative form of limited government and will guide the decisions of future generations.

I hope you all have a fun and safe Independence Day, and may God continue to bless America.


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents southwest Michigan.