Originally Published: July 3, 2007 8:25 p.m.
It's difficult to explain to today's average fat, dumb and happy American the importance of what happened 231 years ago today.
Imagine 56 of the country's most successful, prominent citizens armed with willow switches deciding to pick a fight with Godzilla.
Essentially, that's what those 56 prominent citizens did when they put their names to the Declaration of Independence. They literally pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to kick Great Britain out of the colonies.
Is "fat, dumb and happy" a harsh assessment of today's citizens? Consider this: In a recent study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute only 48 percent of college seniors surveyed correctly identified the sentence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..." as coming from the Declaration of Independence.
If you think that's harsh, look at recent percentages of voter turnout.
It's easy to get too drunk on good whiskey without respecting the hours of hard work and years of aging that went into creating it. And we have become too accustomed to all the freedom we enjoy without a proper respect for all it means.
The people who put their names to that all-important piece of paper were far from perfect, but they had a lot more substance to them than people in the same positions of leadership today.
We're all celebrating today with rodeos, picnics, special sales, trips and fireworks. How many of us really know and appreciate what all the celebration is about?