The time has come to face what we all knew to be inevitable. For over a decade now our King and Parliament has refused to hear our concerns, declaring itself every right to rule over us however oppressively they choose, and rule they have. We have been ordered to pay heavy taxes, give food and shelter to soldiers, and have been tried in foreign courts, unjustly, and without jury, for made up crimes. All of this has been completely without our consent. Our King has neglected every urgent cause and has even taken measures to prevent our Governors from taking action to secure the safety and wellbeing of the colonies. British soldiers have fired upon our civilians without punishment, and armies are being shipped in every month to intimidate us into submission.
We have petitioned the King to respect our rights as men, and let us work toward a peaceful resolve. Time and time again he has refused to hear us out, and has instead sent more legions and enforced tougher penalties. What choice do people have when their very God-given rights are taken away by the force of sword and musket? When a government no longer takes interest in its people, only their money? What else can we do when our children are being shot in the street or taken across the seas to be judged and hung for treason? There are no other options on the table. England is no longer home, she has become our enemy, and the time has come to declare our sovereignty, to fight in the name of freedom.
The idea of separation and self-governance has gained popularity in recent months, and myself, along with many colonial leaders, have concluded that destiny has left us no other alternative. We envision a world in which a man can work for his fair wages, and what he chooses to do with those wages cannot be taken from him. He should be able to protect his land and family using whatever means necessary, and if he is accused of criminal behavior, it should be proven true through fair trial before any debt is paid or punishment endured. We see a nation that allows the common citizen to have a say in their government, and which prevents any person or party from gaining enough political power to manipulate the government and it’s resources to it’s personal advantage. We believe there are no limits to the mind and spirit of man, which is not limited to class or aristocracy, to pursue wealth, health and happiness. We believe that it is not the duty of Kings or Emperors to dictate religion. In America, people will be free to worship according to their personal faith, or to not worship at all if they so choose, without consequence.
It is with this freedom in mind, and for the freedom of our children and children’s children, that we take up our arms and fight for the establishment of a new nation. It is for our decendents that we sign our names to the document declaring our independence from Britain. We understand that we are vastly outnumbered, ill-equipped, and likely to fail in our endeavors. We also understand that should we survive the fight in the field and be captured by the enemy there will be no chance of avoiding the gallows overseas. By signing this paper we commit our names to high-treason and certain death unless America prevails. So we will stand together in this battle, and hope that our ideals will carry on beyond our own lives and reach into the hearts of people for years to come. May these names speak truth and passion into the hearts of men worldwide, that even when we are gone people will remember that we stood for freedom at all cost. That our sacrifices will not die with us, but will inspire a world to believe in the rights of man, and fight for those rights wherever they are being denied.
May God be with us.
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This is a fictional letter, hence there is no name, but it’s no less authentic to the character of the 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. When you hear the pops and crackles of fireworks in the distance, and when you look up into the night sky and see the explosions of red, white, and blue, take a moment to appreciate what those sights and sounds have meant to those who have fought on the front lines for not just our nation, but for the ideals of freedom worldwide.