On July 4, 1776, in the Pennsylvania State House on Philadelphia’s 520 Chestnut Street, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. This simple, symbolic act began what French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville called the “Great American Experiment.” Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven years later, the document those 50 colonists forged in a courthouse on a hot summer day has changed the world immeasurably.
Today, the United States has the world’s largest economy and remains a leader in scientific research and technological innovation. Historians and foreign policy analysts argue over the significance and nature of American primacy in the modern world, but one thing is certain: the Pax Americana has left an indelible and unprecedented mark upon the scroll of human history.
When Americans observe July 4, we’re not just paying homage to our culture and heritage. We’re celebrating our involvement in one of the greatest endeavors ever attempted by mankind. Our flag was painted red by the blood of our soldiers, but it was painted blue and white by the innovation of our scientists, the wisdom of our thinkers, and the sweat of our workers. On Independence Day, we can all take pride in the Great American Experiment.