Felicitations to our neighbours as they mark the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Amidst the parades, hot dogs, funny hats, waving flags, and gun salutes, the second sentence calls for special attention:
“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.”
May these words lead to equal rights for everyone, including political prisoners, people of colour, illegal immigrants, women, the sick, poor and homeless, and all who continue to be at risk despite this solemn Declaration.
images (top): The 13-star flag became official on June 14, 1777 and was to last for 18 years. Each star and stripe represented the 13 colonies which were united a year earlier (source: www.usflag.org); (bottom): John Hancock, as President of Congress, presumably was the first to sign the Declaration. His name has become an informal synonym for “signature.”