Foundations for Freedom
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
June 28, 2006

The freedom we celebrate on July 4 is unique in the world and in history. We have an opportunity to remember American freedom in terms of its beginning and its foundation. The "Great Declaration" in 1776 initiated our quest for freedom. However, our freedom is a as a deed purchased by the blood of our American ancestors and secured years after the Great Revolution by a constitution in 1787.

From ancient times to the present, humanity has witnessed attempts made by various rulers to subject the governed to bad government. The constitution is the written agreement or social contract between the governing and the governed within a nation as to what is acceptable or required on a fundamental basis. Many of us remember one of the first accounts of certain Englishmen's attempt in the year 1215 to rein-in King John from a list of unacceptable or repugnant practices in England. This classic showdown at Runnymede between the governing and the governed is a mere reflection of the age-old challenge that dogs mankind in its attempts to govern itself, democracy or not.

Will and Ariel Durant tell us in their classic work, "The Lessons of History" spanning 3,000-plus years of written history, that monarchies have been the most common form of government. On the other hand, democracies have been but hectic interludes between monarchies. Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated [as ours is] can long endure."

As we celebrate this July 4, let us all know that with education and participation such as voting along with being active in our civic and church life, we are creating an environment that can sustain freedom for generations to come.

Happy Fourth of July to each of you!

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