For those of you in America I'd like to pass along something I received in my mailbox this morning.
Fourth of July “Declaration” (Prager University)
THE CEREMONY BEGINS
SYMBOLS: Coin, Iced Tea, Pretzels, red/white/blue candy, declaration of independence, pen, bell
HOST SPEAKS: Today we take a few minutes to remember what the 4th of July is about and to
remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be Americans.
Before America was a nation, it was a dream – a dream shared by many people, from many nations, over many generations.
It began with the Pilgrims in 1620 who fled Europe so that they could be free to practice their religion. It continued through the 17th century as more and more people came to the place that came to be known as the New World. In this new world, where you came from didn’t matter; what mattered was where you were headed.
As more and more people came, they started to see themselves not as Europeans but as
a new people in the new world, Americans.
They felt blessed: The land was spacious. The opportunities limitless.
By 1776, a century and a half after the first Pilgrims landed, this new liberty‐loving people
was ready to create a new nation. And on July 4 of that year they did just that. They pronounced themselves to be free of the rule of the English king. We know this statement as The Declaration of Independence.
DIRECTION: Host invites the young people (generally ages 7 and older) present to read and to answer the following:
Q: Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?
A: Because the 4th of July is the birthday of the American people – the day we chose to become
the United States of America, a free nation.
Q: Why was America different from all other countries?
A: Because in 1776, all countries were based on nationality, religion, ethnicity or geography. But
America was created on the basis of a set of ideas. This is still true today.
Q: What are those ideas?
A: Three ideas summarize what America is all about. They are engraved on every American
coin. They are “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
READER #1: “Liberty” means that we are free to pursue our dreams and to go as far in life as
hard work and good luck will take us.
READER #2: “In God We Trust” means that America was founded on the belief that our rights
and liberties have been granted to us by the Creator. Therefore they cannot be taken away by
READER #3: “E Pluribus Unum” is a Latin phrase meaning “From Many, One.” Unlike other
countries, America is composed of people of every religious, racial, ethnic, cultural and national
origin. Out of many people we become one people ‐‐Americans.
HOST: We have on our table items that symbolize the Declaration of Independence and the
Revolutionary War that won our freedom.
DIRECTION: Host holds up each symbolic item as he explains its symbolic meaning.
• We drink sweet iced tea to remember the Boston tea party. “No taxation without
representation” was the patriots’ chant as they dumped British tea into the Boston Harbor.
• We eat a salty pretzel to remember the tears of the soldiers who suffered through the
harsh winter at Valley Forge,
• We ring a bell to recall the ringing of the Liberty Bell which was rung to announce the
surrender of the King’s army. On the Bell are inscribed these words from the Book of
Leviticus: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”
• We eat strawberries and blueberries dipped in whipped cream to celebrate the red,
white and blue of our flag, symbol of the United States of America
HOST: We celebrate America’s greatness without denying its flaws. There are no perfect
individuals, so there can certainly be no perfect country. Our national history has its share of
shame. The greatest of these is the shame of slavery which existed at our founding, as it existed
throughout the world at that time.
But let it never be forgotten that we fought a terrible civil war in which hundreds of thousands
of Americans died. And the reason for that war was slavery.
Let it also not be forgotten that America has fought in more wars for the freedom of other
peoples than any nation in history.
America’s history is one that we can be proud of.
DIRECTION: Host holds up a copy of The Declaration of Independence.
We now close with one more ritual. Let each of us sign our names to the Declaration of
Independence. While it is a but a replica of the one our founders signed, the words and sentiments
DIRECTION: Everyone present signs their name to the Declaration of Independence.
HOST: Let’s sing together…
God Bless America
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
HOST: Happy Birthday, America. Happy 4th of July. Now let’s eat