What Do We Celebrate on July 4?

Traditionally, Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and cookouts, and the flag is displayed prominently. But the holiday’s deeper meaning sometimes escapes notice. For Ayn Rand, the founding of the United States of America was a “miracle,” a term she used in a non-religious sense to denote an unprecedented achievement of enormous moral and practical significance.

Here’s the whole passage:

It is in this context — from the perspective of the bloody millennia of mankind’s history — that I want you to look at the birth of a miracle: the United States of America. If it is ever proper for men to kneel, we should kneel when we read the Declaration of Independence.

For more on the Objectivist perspective on Independence Day — which commemorates the first and only founding of a nation on the moral principle of individual rights — visit our new issue page: “Independence Day: What July 4 Really Means.”