Commentary by NICK YAMASHITA
Moapa Valley Progress
Twelve score and two years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great time of segregation and controversial issues, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of technology and social media. From Facebook to Instragram to Twitter. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their final statements of freedom of speech, that that nation might live or die.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this to maintain our freedom of voice. After all it was in 1776 on the 1st of July that the Second Continental Congress met and, a day later, 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion of independence. This lead to the declaration of independence by the colonies from the sovereign rule of British power. This was performed to declare the freedom of the voice of the people to be heard and to have power within the confines of government, society, and life itself.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate we cannot struggle with freedoms of opinions that breed hatred and segregation. The brave men throughout our nation’s pulsating years, living and dead, who struggled here to sustain our freedoms, have brought our nation far above our poor power to opinionate.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here and throughout the nation’s history. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. From the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 to the War of 1812 to the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the Falling of the Twin Towers in 2001. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these catastrophes of war that so many have suffered so that we have those undeniable rights of honored freedoms.
Therefore, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these patriots shall not have labored or died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and unity… a sustaining retention of freedom and unity.
As the forefathers of this great nation had difference of opinions and views, we also do at this present time. There were several who did not sign the Declaration of Independence for various reasons. There were heated debates of how to handle the oppression of the British power. But the one thing they agreed upon was that the oppression of the people of the colonies by the British must end.
When the time came that a decision of actions was chosen, these amazing men and forefathers of our nation stood together in unity to accomplish some of the most prolific and massive events and conquests in all history. By being unified in purpose and in the “American Dream”, they gave birth to a new nation in 1776 and, later, new freedoms including a Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.
Even after our country was born, we have continued to have disagreement on issues concerning our freedoms. These have included such social leaders as Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ronald Reagan.
However, we as Americans have continued to strive with freedoms and the opportunities to state our beliefs and opinions. Freedoms and opinions were retained and honored by Americans, even opposed in views, by standing together in unity.
So as this Independence Day of 2018 arrives, may we come together in unity as “Americans” and truly remember why the United States of America was fought for and born. That all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That each has the freedom to one’s own beliefs and views, not to infringe upon others’ beliefs and views.
From 13 small colonies to 50 states of approximately 325.7 million citizens, we have endured an arduous journey to keep ahold of the freedoms that we hold today. As the great American peace advocate and poet, Mattie Stepanek stated, “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
Truly, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, has had wonderful things achieved; so that it has not perished from the earth.
Happy Birthday U.S.A and God Bless America!