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Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker; Chairman of Gingrich 360

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On July Fourth, it’s important to remember what we’re honoring

Jun 28, 2023

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As President Biden hits the road to sell his economic record, the country is getting ready to celebrate freedom in America on the Fourth of July. On that same day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence to establish the creation of America as a new country and determine what unalienable rights people should have.

Straight Arrow News contributor Newt Gingrich believes it’s also important to remember the rights gifted to us from God and the people who make sacrifices daily to uphold our freedom.

And it’s important to look at that, first, to remember who we are, where we came from, what this is all about. This concept of freedom, that our rights come from God, not from lawyers, not from bureaucrats, not from politicians, but from God.

Second, to ask ourselves the question: Are we worthy of those who risked their lives, who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor? Or in fact are we in a situation where we have to really ask ourselves, are we falling short? Are we failing to act like a free people? Are we failing to uphold America? I think that’s how we should think about the Fourth of July. 

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, every American should take a moment to reflect on the day that the country had the courage to declare its independence. You know, he looked back at the group who gathered and Philadelphia, people who had won election from their colonies, and they were colonies at that point. 

Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, all 13 colonies came together voluntarily, because they were so frightened by the British Empire, and the threat that they were going to lose their rights. They saw themselves as having the rights of Englishmen, rights that went all the way back to the Magna Carta in 1215. And so they thought what was happening was an enormous threat. As many of them put it, they will be reduced to mere slaves, forced to obey London, no matter what London demanded and they drew a line in the sand. And they said, if that’s the case, then we’re prepared to be free. 

They wrote a Declaration of Independence, which is a stirring document, which would help every American to read on the Fourth of July, to remember that our rights come from God. We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to be reminded that people have the right to rebel when government becomes oppressive, to be reminded that after you get on signing the document, you have to win the war. 

There was an eight year conflict of people living along the eastern coast. The United States against the greatest empire in the world for eight long years, it looked at times like the revolution would collapse. In fact, on one particular night, on Christmas 1776, literally, Washington crossed the Delaware in a snowstorm with ice in the river. One-third of his men did not have boots. Their feet were wrapped in burlap bags, they left a trail of blood, as they marched in a snowstorm to surprise professional German soldiers at the town of Trenton, capturing 800 of them, winning a victory that suddenly re-instilled Americans a sense that we could win. 

Washington’s army almost totally collapsed, dropped from 30,000, to 2,500. And of that 2,500, literally 800 did not have boots.That one surprising, courageous moment, signaled victory. And suddenly 15,000 volunteers showed up, and the revolution continued until we won it. 

And it’s important to look at that first, to remember who we are, where we came from, what this is all about. This concept of freedom, that our rights come from God, not from lawyers, not from bureaucrats, not from politicians, but from God. Second, to ask ourselves the question, Are we worthy of those who risked their lives who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor? Or in fact are we in a situation where we have to really ask ourselves, are we falling short? Are we failing to act like a free people? Are we failing to uphold America? I think that’s how we should think about the Fourth of July. 

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