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ACR-107 4th of July.(2017-2018)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 107

Relative to the 4th of July.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 07, 2017. ]


ACR 107, Quirk-Silva. 4th of July.
This measure would state the intent of the Legislature to take the opportunity preceding July 4, 2017, to recognize and celebrate July 4, 2017, and the 241st anniversary of the birth of our great nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence that this day represents.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, July 4, 2017, marks the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and by the adoption of that document — formally titled, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America” — the nation we today know as the United States of America officially came into being, an occasion forever memorialized by President Abraham Lincoln in the words of his Gettysburg Address as when “... our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”; and
WHEREAS, On June 7, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a location today known as Independence Hall, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee brought the following resolution before the Second Continental Congress of the United Colonies: “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved ... .”; and
WHEREAS, On June 8, 1776, Lee’s resolution was referred to a committee of the whole of the Continental Congress, at which time it spent most of that day, as well as June 10, debating independence; and
WHEREAS, On June 11, 1776, a “Committee of Five” — with Thomas Jefferson of Virginia being picked unanimously as its first member, and also including John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut—was charged with drafting a declaration of independence for consideration by the Continental Congress; and
WHEREAS, The members of the “Committee of Five” assigned Jefferson the task of producing a draft declaration, and on June 28, 1776, he produced a draft that, with minor changes by the committee members, was forwarded to the Congress for its further consideration; and
WHEREAS, On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Lee resolution upon the affirmative vote of 12 of the 13 colonial delegations, an occasion that delegate and future President John Adams detailed to his wife, Abigail, in a letter written July 3, 1776, as follows: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men ... .”; and
WHEREAS, On July 4, 1776, after further debate and changes to the committee document, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence establishing the United States of America, to which John Hancock that day affixed his signature, with 55 other delegates representing the 13 colonies—now states of the newly created nation—signing the declaration within the next several weeks; and
WHEREAS, July 4 is a day unlike any other—in the history of the United States of America, and indeed, the world—in that not only is it the day that an infant nation formally defied the most powerful empire on Earth in a quest for freedom, liberty, and independence, but even more importantly because on that day this new nation declared as a “self-evident truth”—known and knowable to all persons at all times in all places throughout the world—the radical notion that “all men are created equal ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; and
WHEREAS, Since its adoption and bold pronouncement more than two centuries ago, the Declaration of Independence and the principles which animate that timeless document have inspired literally billions of persons around the world to pursue freedom in their own nations, for themselves and their own loved ones, and for their fellow men and women, and remain today an imperfectly unrealized goal to which all Americans and all who cherish liberty must rededicate themselves, just as the drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence did by declaring: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge[d] to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”; and
WHEREAS, On this and every July Fourth, it is both proper and fitting that the institutions of California government, and indeed all Californians, express heartfelt gratitude and indebtedness to those men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, and in particular to those who have suffered the injuries of battle and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting freedom and liberty around the world, recalling the words of President Abraham Lincoln that, as a result of their profound sacrifice, “... this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature does—and intends to every year immediately preceding the 4th of July—take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate July 4, 2017, and the 241st anniversary of the birth of our great nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence that this day represents; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls upon all the people of the great State of California, and the United States of America, to take the opportunity of the 4th of July holiday to obtain a greater knowledge and understanding of the facts and circumstances that compelled the 13 original colonies to declare their independence, and of the timeless principles of liberty, equality, and self-determination that rest at the heart of the Declaration of Independence; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature on behalf of a grateful citizenry, hereby expresses its heartfelt thanks, appreciation, and prayers to all who have served—and who currently serve—in the Armed Forces of the United States, in recognition of the countless sacrifices and the indispensable role these brave men and women have played even before the founding of our nation on July 4, 1776, in preserving, protecting, and defending the freedoms and liberties of all Americans, and expanding freedom throughout the world; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly shall make available suitable copies of this resolution for distribution by Members of the Legislature.