The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
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.
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...
"Isn't segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, an expression of his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?"~ Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963
It is difficult to convey to those who were not present at the time, just how turbulent the year 1968 was for those of us in the U.S.A. One can cite assassinations and riots, or talk about the mood, the palpable acrimony that seemed to seize nearly everyone. Passions ran hot, and blood spilled - not just in the U.S., but half-way around the globe in the war-torn nation of Viet Nam.
At a time when we were, ostensibly, trying to come together, it seemed the divisions had never been more pronounced. Each of us who lived through, and recalls, those times bears a certain number of wounds - for like it or not, the events of 1968 touched and shaped us all without reference to our beliefs or the color of our skin, they set us on the course we have followed ever since. In some cases, we have scars; for others the wounds are still vivid, real, and open.
We must not forget. For the sake of our children, we dare not.
"Early morning, April 4,
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky.
'Free at last,' they took your life,
But they could not take your pride."