Declaration of Independence

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.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day for Children

                Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we teach the rising generation to love their country and to be proud of it.  We must teach our children and grandchildren to love the goodness of America and to be willing to fight for freedom and liberty.  We must teach the rising generation to love the Stars and Stripes and to show respect for our nation’s ensign.  We must teach our children and youth what Independence Day is really all about.

                Children of all ages love Independence Day, the birthday of the United States of America.  Americans throw a giant birthday party on the Fourth of July every year.  This day is Independence Day.  It is much more than baseball games, parades, fireworks, and hot dogs.  We must be prepared to answer the questions our children and grandchildren ask about Independence Day.  I found a wonderful site put together by the American Grandparents Association.   In seven patriotic talking points, this site has answers to some of the questions your posterity may ask such as the following.

                (1) What is Independence Day?  The Fourth of July is our country’s birthday.  When children ask this question, tell them what happened on July 4, 1776, when Americans declared independence from Great Britain.

                (2) Why does the flag have those stars?  Take the time to explain that the 50 stars stand for the 50 states of America and the 13 stripes stand for the 13 British colonies that declared independence from Great Britain.  Teach them to show proper respect to the flag because it stands for freedom.  Show your posterity that the flag is important to you by flying the flag and showing it respect.

                (3) What makes our country special?  The United States of America was established on the idea that every person has certain rights or freedoms.  Read the Bill of Rights with your children and grandchildren and then ask them which rights are most important to them.

                (4) What does the government do for us?  Take your posterity on a tour of their town and show them the people who are there to help them – police officers, firefighters, postal workers, sanitation crews, librarians, etc.  Explain to them that adults pay taxes to their local, state, and federal government and the money is used to build buildings, bridges, ports, schools, parks, etc. for the use of all of us.

                (5) What does the president do?  You may have a difficult time answering this question if your children know no other President than the current occupant of the White House.  You can best answer this question by telling your children that an elected President is different than a king or a queen.  A President is the leader of the nation and faces many tough situations.  George Washington was the first President and set the pattern for future Presidents.  Abraham Lincoln led the nation during the great Civil War and managed to keep the country together.

                (6) What can we do for our country?  Compare our nation to a family and explain that “Everyone has to pitch in or it doesn’t work.  As members of the U.S. `family’ – in other words, as citizens – we all have certain responsibilities, like going to school, voting, and obeying the law.  Discuss how being a good citizen also means taking care of the country, by keeping it clean, looking out for people in trouble, and staying informed about the problems that we face.  Of course, actions always have more impact than words, so set an example by dedicating some of your time to volunteering in the community….” 

                (7) What does it mean to be American?  As Americans we do not share a common culture or ethnicity, but we do “share a common idea – that people should have the freedom to live the way they want, and to work and earn money the best way they can.  These freedoms have inspired people from all over the world to come to this country and become `Americans.’  Be sure to tell your posterity about your own family and how you became Americans.

                I also discovered two cute cartoons that teach about Independence Day.  The first one is an American history lesson in cartoon with rock and roll music.   The second one is the story of the first Independence Day.  Here is a video of adults who do not know the history of Independence Day.  

                We must teach our children and grandchildren that Independence Day is more than just a holiday, more than a simple birthday party for our nation, and more than a day to watch parades and fireworks.  We must teach them that Independence Day is the day when freedom and liberty came to the world.  We must teach them to love America and its flag and all it stands for.  We can strengthen our families, communities and nation by teaching the rising generation about the goodness we know as America.

                 Some fun facts about Independence Day can be found here. 

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