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Ten Things of Thankful: Independence Edition

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.
That excerpt from the Declaration of Independence has been on my mind this week.  Those beautiful words set the course of this nation.  I'm thankful for the courage of the members of the Continental Congress to pen and approve such a course-altering document.  
I'm thankful that they had the wisdom to spell out the self-evident truths.  While I recognize that history does not always support ideals, I am thankful that "all men are created equal." I'm thankful that everyone, including my own friends and family members, have equal rights, regardless of the color of their skin.  I'm thankful to live in a "melting pot," and I'm thankful for the melting pot that is my family. 



I'm thankful that the Declaration also acknowledged a Creator, one who endowed his children with unalienable Rights.  I'm thankful for those gifts of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

I'm thankful to feel personally connected to the history of this great nation.  Many of my ancestors arrived on this continent before the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  Several of my great (many times over) grandfathers were instrumental in shaping the way of life here.  Thomas Hooker founded the state of Connecticut, and has been called, "The Father of American Democracy."  James Pierrpont and Noadiah Russell founded Yale University.  John Brockett laid out the town square of New Haven, Connecticut.  

However, despite my connection--through no merits of my own--to the early days of this nation, I'm thankful that I am no more an American than my friends who became citizens of the United States in recent years.  I'm thankful for the friends I have had who have come here from other countries and who have completed the sometimes-frustrating process to become citizens.  Their perseverance reminds me to not take my freedoms for granted.  

And though this week's TToT focused on the United States, I am also thankful for my friends who are not citizens of this nation.  Especially with the internet, the world is a small place, and regardless of where on earth we live, we share so many common experiences.  We can all learn from each other, regardless of allegiance. 

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Thanks for independence, and people everywhere.

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Comments

  1. So true..not everyone enjoys the blessing of equal rights, so we are thankful that we do. A happy 4th, Kristi!

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    1. Sometimes the self-evident truths are easiest to take for granted, yet also most important.

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  2. I am a sucker for American history and for the beautiful and powerful words of documents like these. Makes the heart swell! And what a cool family history you have!
    It is indeed a blessing to live in a place where we enjoy as much freedom as we do - so many do not and it always boggles my mind that such disparity exists on one planet. Always.
    Have a great week!

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    1. It is amazing how deeply words can sink into one's soul.

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  3. A perfect post for this weekend.

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  4. This is wonderful, Kristi. I recited the preamble to my daughter yesterday, too, but it's quite a concept for a five year old.

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    1. That's true, but it's also amazing how well children can feel deep concepts.

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  5. I pledge no allegiance to any flag or nation, but grant that all men are created equal. I prefer to sit on the fence with these things, because so many bad things happen in the name of flags, which should never occur.

    Liberty, Justice, Mercy, Happiness, Thankfulness, Compassion, and above all, Love. Those things I would pledge to.

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    1. Love is the central force, isn't it? Regardless of status of allegiance, I'm glad I know you.

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  6. I think that too many take their freedom for granted. Think of all the people who come to your country for refuge and freedom. I cannot even fathom living in a country where people are not equal and free.
    Happy fourth (from a Canadian)

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    1. A friend from high school escaped by boat from Vietnam. Although I've heard some of the stories, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that he (and others) actually just set off across the Pacific in search of the freedom of a new life. I can't imagine just getting in a little boat and heading out to open sea.

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  7. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. May everyone in this world come to enjoy these rights.

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  8. WELL WRITTEN! I love the sentiments here... I tend to be a curmundgeon about this holiday as I dont possess any sort of patriotism... but I do possess quite a bit of respect for my fellows and this was very well said... thankyou!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad I apparently was able to convey what I was intending. :-)

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  9. Well done. I love the sentiment of your piece. Those are some impressive connections to American history!
    BTW as I began to post this comment I noticed that it says Will is commenting. Nope, it is May. Been helping my son set up a blog for his study abroad experiences and must have gotten my wires crossed on Google!

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    1. Thanks for explaining. I was wondering who Will was. Hope he has a great time on his study abroad!

      I'm grateful for the connections, but can't claim any credit for them, of course. They do help history come alive for me, though.

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  10. American history fascinates me. It is so different from any country on earth, and while there have certainly been rocky parts, it is incredible that a group of men could come up with a government in such a unique way. They did their best to compromise and foresee problems, and even knew that things would change, and we needed a way to deal with it. I am grateful to live in such a place which made people's rights such a priority.

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    1. I agree. Additionally, I think that the establishment of the government was guided by the hand of God. It's hard to explain otherwise.

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  11. Very nice, Kristi! Our forefathers truly were brilliant men. I think my family came to America in rowboats long before the Declaration of Independence was written, because my brother, the family historian, has yet to find when they arrived here.
    I get all goosebumpy when I hear the National Anthem or America, the Beautiful. And I always think of the Muppet Movie, when Kermit and Fozzy Bear were driving across the country while Fozzy sang America, The Beautiful. When he finished, he said "Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear." You've got it, Fozzy!

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    1. Well, we must be cousins of some sort, then! :-)

      I love America the Beautiful. It's probably my favorite patriotic hymn.

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  12. I too am gratefully to have been born here. Why was I given the opportunity to live here in this free society when most of the world did not? Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. We really do have so much. Yes, we have an abundance of material goods, but more importantly, we have our freedoms.

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  13. Hi there! Thanks for your kind comments about our daughter's photo and video work. I hope your Sabbath is going well! (I'm a latter-day seagull too *wink wink*)

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    1. LOL. I've never actually heard the seagull part of that phrase, but yes, I am LDS. It's been a rather quiet Sunday--just a couple of meetings before church for my husband, family visiting and came to church with us, John didn't have to stay too late after church, choir practice was canceled.

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  14. although impractical due to scale of the world, but isn't it amazing when you have a direct connection with people as individuals, as opposed to 'knowing about people'? There seems to be one (or two or three) truths about 'people' out at large in the world and it sounds like everyone agrees, but then you meet an individual and the thing (that I have found) is that they are not, in fact, particularly different from me.*

    *except the part about their worldview and if they're a scott or a roger, of course!**
    ** but even then, I know them and it is always the 'not knowing for yourself' that the roots of distrust and fear grow

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    1. People are definitely more similar than different, and it is always wonderful to remember that. I know I need to be reminded. I was in a crowded theme park (NOT Disneyland, surprisingly enough) one day and was overwhelmed all of a sudden with the feeling of connectedness to everyone around me. There were some rough-looking individuals walking by, but I was reminded that we all are in this earth life together. Despite our appearances, or beliefs, or attitudes, we are all people and capable of great good.

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  15. Some many great truths in such a succinct post. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. So beautifully written, Kristi. We're all God's children. Every one of us.

    Val

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  17. My family came here in the 50's from Italy - my grandfather was actually born in Montana but at a young age returned back to Italy with his parents my great grandparents- my sisters, me and my cousins were born here making us 1st generation Americans - This country with its problems is a great country - I believe our forefathers were brilliant men and had a very clear vision of the future; happy 4th - great post.

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    1. There always seems to be pride in the phrase "1st generation Americans." I love the fact that the feeling of patriotism is just as strong in 1st generation Americans as in 10th generation Americans. Yes, there are problems--as there are in any country--but the foundation has been laid for a government that can work through the problems.

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  18. A very belated Happy 4th of July, Kristi! We have friends who became citizens in April and this did make it a very special holiday for all of us! And you are very right, it was very challenging to complete the process and I am glad I didn't have to go through it! I am also really glad I wasn't unfortunate enough to be born in another country. One where you have no rights and just going to the market is a very fearful event. We are very lucky. I am very thankful.

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  19. I love this post, Kristi! And happy 4th of July to you and your family and your cool ancestors! I can't imagine living in a country where people are not free and equal. We are so blessed.

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