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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Be safe while celebrating Independence Day

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
July 3, 2013 at 2:03 a.m.


"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

These are the opening words of "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America," which we now call the Declaration of Independence.

On this day 237 years ago, the Continental Congress adopted the document after two days of discussions and alterations. To this day, it remains one of the most important documents in the United States' history.

Our country has seen its share of conflict and disagreements. We are a land filled with diverse people, which is what makes our country so wonderful. This is a land where people from all backgrounds can live together, work side by side and find happiness. The men who signed the Declaration dared to dream of a life outside the rule of kings and dictators, and they made that dream a reality.

Today, we celebrate their brave decision with a national holiday and parties that usually include hot dogs, cookouts and, of course, fireworks. But as fun as these social activities are, we should not forget why we celebrate and gather together. This year, there is a push to renew the tradition of ringing bells nationwide at 2 p.m. on the Fourth of July thanks to a letter submitted to Dear Abby by Carmella Laspada, Founder of No Greater Love, who attributes the tradition to President John F. Kennedy in 1963. This tradition is a great way to observe the birth of our nation and remind residents what today is truly about.

However residents choose to observe today, we encourage everyone to be safe as they go about their day. From lighting the grill to setting off fireworks, always make sure safety is your first concern and follow the rules set forth by area governments. Today is an important day and should not be marred by a trip to the hospital or the loss of residents' homes to fires. By observing safety precautions, we can be sure that everyone, including first responders, can have an enjoyable holiday.

From everyone at the Victoria Advocate, we wish our readers and everyone in the Crossroads a happy Independence Day.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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