EDITO: Reflection on our American values ​​| Opinion

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When the Declaration of Independence was signed, the area that is now Wyoming was a vast expanse of land controlled by various native tribes, such as the Crow and the Shoshone.

Later came the French fur trappers, then the Americans in the wake of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Wyoming is now an amalgamation of all these influences, a Western culture with the values ​​of independence and self-determination, values ​​codified by America’s founders.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights governments be instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people of the modify or abolish it. , and to institute a new government, laying its foundations upon such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as they shall think most likely to secure their safety and happiness.

This first section of the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776 in the midst of the American Revolution, was also a statement of what our Founding Fathers saw as the vision for the country they were then struggling to create.

Since then, Americans have fought each other in a war that has preserved what in 1861 was still a relatively new idea, government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We fought hard in the courts, on the streets and in the halls of government to expand and codify our rights.

It’s still a messy system of government and at election time we see its ups and downs, but we think it remains, as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said of democracy, “the worst form of government except all the others.”

Let us therefore celebrate our American Constitutional Republic and the people who, in signing the Declaration of Independence in the days and weeks after it was written by Thomas Jefferson, risked their lives, branded as traitors by the mighty British Empire, for the idea which has now lasted for more than two centuries.

In Cody, we celebrate by watching the downtown parades Saturday through Monday, attending the Freedom Celebration Thursday afternoon, watching fireworks Monday night, and attending a night at the Rodeo of the Stampede.

And we hope you will reflect on these values ​​and visions established by the founders of our country.

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