Ponder on the following. The Continental Army was officially created on June 14 in 1775 after what is now called the “Revolutionary War” began unofficially on April 19. Yet, the Declaration of Independence was signed over a year later. Why?
Suffice it to say 1775 was a time of confusion, high emotions, and some hot heads running amuck. What is new? “Americans” knew something was wrong and felt driven to what others would call civil war although, among most, the potential consequence of their actions were not fully appreciated or intended. The Second Continental Congress now felt it needed to justify “America’s” actions before the world for both moral and practical reasons. A realization had settled upon it that the parting of the ways with the motherland would be necessary. In that very moment, out of the chaos something good was set in motion: the first thought of a nation intended to be built upon the philosophy “…that 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.”
Think about that. The Constitution is such a prosaic document in comparison that one can get lost in its words, forgetting its intent. Think about how Americans are known for their ability to solve problems, justify their actions, stick together and organize their way to a solution, even if ever so slowly; and that Americans believe in fairness and justice for all. Therein lies our greatness: in an ideal that should guide our conduct, and something inspired by our founders when in desperate straits they set pen to paper to write the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. The indictment (the casting of stones), which drew most of the attention of that time, is not what makes us great.