“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.”
Every year Americans celebrate the Fourth of July and the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with parades, speeches, fireworks and more—all well-known aspects of national tradition.
The Declaration articulated the revolutionary concept that people had inherent, unalienable rights given to them by God.
And today, 243 years after its approval by the delegates to the Continental Congress, broad celebration is more than appropriate. The Declaration stands as one of the greatest milestones along humanity’s long, winding and often rocky path toward greater freedom and human rights.
“The Declaration articulated the revolutionary concept that people had inherent, unalienable rights given to them by God,” said Edward Parkin, STAND’s International Director. “It also set forth what was a radical idea at the time, that the role of government is to serve the people and protect their rights: ‘That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.’”
The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights—collectively known as the Charters of Freedom—can be viewed at the National Archives Museum’s Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, D.C.
The text of the Declaration can be accessed at the National Archives website.