Like most subjects, the founding of the United States is so much more interesting and complicated than the version we learned in grade school.
And for those of us who did attend grade school in the United States, this early passage from the Declaration of Independence is still rolling around in our memory banks:
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.
I don’t recall making it to the end of this document in second grade, but this is the grand finale:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Friends, it is great to recognize our potential as individuals, our independence.
It might be even greater to recognize our mutual pledge, our interdependence.
The first is entirely dependent upon the second.
May we live up to this promise to one another,
our sacred honor.