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06/29/2022 08:00 AM

Let Us Give Thanks

Near the outset of the Declaration of Independence we read: “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.” I have read these words many times before, but only recently was I struck by the simple yet powerful meaning of the words “pursuit of.” Life and liberty are rights that we receive with no effort of our own, other than being American citizens. Happiness, however, is not a given; it must be pursued. Such a simple, yet profound, distinction from the other two unalienable rights. Like the often-used quote: “No one is responsible for your happiness but yourself.”

As we celebrate Independence Day this year, let us give thanks to all those who fought in the Revolutionary War so that we could enjoy these rights, and in all the wars following to preserve these rights. And let us give special thanks to our hometown of Madison (formerly known as East Guilford) veterans who fought for these rights, and a special prayer for all those Madison veterans who lost their lives in the fight. Let us also give thanks to the many local civic groups responsible for all the activities we can enjoy this coming weekend, including the concert on the green, the fireworks, and the parade.

As we celebrate our country’s independence, let us give thanks for our Life and Liberty, and the opportunity to pursue our Happiness, and give thanks to God and to all our Madison forefathers who made it possible. We are blessed to live in a town like Madison, and in the United States of America, land of the free!

Justin Murphy