Since the founding of our Republic, we as Americans have been preoccupied with the idea of liberty. As well we should be. In our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, we declared that all of us are “endowed by our 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…” At this Declaration, we acknowledged that our rights come from God and that government’s fundamental role is to “secure” or protect those rights.
The Bill of Rights in the US Constitution built upon this foundation and spelled out certain guaranteed freedoms. Perhaps just as important, it placed limits on government’s ability to interfere with those freedoms. It is worth noting that the reasons that the Framers felt the need to place these restrictions on government is because governments had violated these God-given rights throughout human history. We must commit to each other and future generations to preserve this tradition of protecting individual freedom and continue to be the country that President Lincoln called the “Last best hope of earth.”