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President George W. Bush Message, Independence Day 2008

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    July 4, 2008 In few words, our nation s president says it all this Independence Day. In 1776, the members of Congress signed their names to the greatest
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2008
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      July 4, 2008
      In few words, our nation's president says it all this Independence Day.
      In 1776, the members of Congress signed their names to the greatest declaration ever penned.
      Thank you council members for carrying on.
      Phelps Hobart, President
      Pacific Merchant Marine Council
      Navy League of the United States

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      Presidential Message, Independence Day 2008

      I send greetings to all Americans on Independence Day.

      More than two centuries ago, bold and courageous visionaries pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in signing the Declaration of Independence. Guided by ancient and eternal truths, our forefathers proclaimed to the world that liberty was the natural right of all mankind and in doing so began one of the greatest chapters in human history. On the Fourth of July, our country commemorates the great achievements of these heroes and reaffirms its unwavering confidence in the power of freedom.

      It was the desire for freedom that inspired our Founding Fathers, and it is the belief in the universality of freedom that guides our Nation. On this occasion, we pay special tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces, both past and present, who have answered freedom's call and defended the values that make America the greatest country on earth.

      May God bless America.


      The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

      IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

      The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

      When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

      -- He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

      -- He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

      -- He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

      -- He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

      -- He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

      -- He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

      -- He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

      -- He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

      -- He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

      -- He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

      -- He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

      -- He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

      -- He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

      -- For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

      -- For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

      -- For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

      -- For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

      -- For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

      -- For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

      -- For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

      -- For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

      -- For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

      -- He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

      -- He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

      -- He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

      -- He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

      -- He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

      In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

      Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

      We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

      The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

      Column 1
         Button Gwinnett
         Lyman Hall
         George Walton

      Column 2
      North Carolina:
         William Hooper
         Joseph Hewes
         John Penn
      South Carolina:
         Edward Rutledge
         Thomas Heyward, Jr.
         Thomas Lynch, Jr.
         Arthur Middleton

      Column 3
      John Hancock
      Samuel Chase
      William Paca
      Thomas Stone
      Charles Carroll of Carrollton
      George Wythe
      Richard Henry Lee
      Thomas Jefferson
      Benjamin Harrison
      Thomas Nelson, Jr.
      Francis Lightfoot Lee
      Carter Braxton

      Column 4
         Robert Morris
         Benjamin Rush
         Benjamin Franklin
         John Morton
         George Clymer
         James Smith
         George Taylor
         James Wilson
         George Ross
         Caesar Rodney
         George Read
         Thomas McKean

      Column 5
      New York:
         William Floyd
         Philip Livingston
         Francis Lewis
         Lewis Morris
      New Jersey:
         Richard Stockton
         John Witherspoon
         Francis Hopkinson
         John Hart
         Abraham Clark

      Column 6
      New Hampshire:
         Josiah Bartlett
         William Whipple
         Samuel Adams
         John Adams
         Robert Treat Paine
         Elbridge Gerry
      Rhode Island:
         Stephen Hopkins
         William Ellery
         Roger Sherman
         Samuel Huntington
         William Williams
         Oliver Wolcott
      New Hampshire:
         Matthew Thornton

      Independence Timeline

      The British Parliament bypasses colonial assemblies and imposes several internal and external taxes on the outraged colonists.

      Dec. 16, 1773
      The colonial response to taxation without representation culminates in the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty dump 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor.

      Sept. 5, 1774
      Delegates begin meeting for the First Continental Congress and agree to send grievances to King George III.

      April 19, 1775
      Armed conflict between the colonists and British redcoats begins in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

      May 10, 1775
      A Second Continental Congress begins meeting in Philadelphia.

      June 11, 1776
      The Continental Congress appoints a five-man committee, including Thomas Jefferson, to draft a declaration of independence.

      June 28, 1776
      The committee presents the declaration for debate and revision.

      July 4, 1776
      The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence without dissent.



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