June 16th is not too early to begin commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, since on June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston as a committee to draft it. That noted, in the above video Prager University presents not the Declaration of Independence, but “The 4th of July Declaration.”
“America is much more than a place,” says Dennis Prager, “it’s an idea.” Here is the opening of Prager University’s statement — be sure to follow the link at the end for more information:
Welcome to our Fourth of July Declaration Ceremony. This short ceremony is designed to help us remember what the Fourth of July is really about, and to remind ourselves how fortunate we all are to be Americans.
For many of us, the Fourth of July is a day for barbecues, baseball, shopping, and fireworks. There is nothing wrong with any of this. But in 1776, our founders did not sign the Declaration of Independence so that later generations need not remain vigilant. As Thomas Jefferson put it: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
As Americans, we need to reconnect to our heritage, channel the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, and rediscover the meaning behind our country’s creation. And we need to do it every year. That’s the point of observing the Fourth of July: To help us remember why this country was founded, and to help us transmit that collective memory to the next generation.
How can we do this? Through ritual.
We Americans need a ritual to remind ourselves of our national origins and our national purpose. That is why Prager University has created the Fourth of July Declaration Ceremony, which draws its inspiration from one of the most enduring rituals in the world: the Jewish Passover Seder. (“Seder” means “order” in Hebrew).
Read more: Prager University
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