The signers of the Declaration of Independence did not take their signatures lightly. We do indeed hold these truths to be self-evident now, and we can indeed see with certainty and clarity the just nature of their grievances against the crown. But while the rights were certainly unalienable, their personal safety after declaring those rights was by no means guaranteed.
Hundreds of years of relative prosperity since that signing have proven to the world what those brave patriots knew as true back then. They knew -- and declared -- that our bedrock values of equality, freedom and liberty are the strongest possible foundation on which to build a new nation. They knew that to support that nation and ensure those values, they and we must "pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." In other words -- they knew that these freedoms - so clearly worth dying for, even by their declaration -- are based on the connections we make and hold with one another while living. And they knew, and declared, that those connections are made clearly manifest -- through a government created by the will of the people and focused on securing the rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for all those governed.
Hundreds of years later, it's still that purpose and promise that guides us. It's why -- at least here in Delaware -- we're committed to reducing the size and scope of government when it infringes on those freedoms, but also committed to putting that government to work, to get people back to work, to give our kids the tools they need to succeed in their own pursuits of happiness as adults, and protect people's health and safety.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be signing some bills into law that serve those purposes. But for now, and over the next few days, I hope you'll join me at Fourth of July celebrations across the state to look back on the courage and wisdom of those signers of our Declaration of Independence and renew our shared commitment to those core values that brought our nation to life back then, and guide us together now, as we work together to keep Delaware, moving forward.