To the Editor:

The Fourth of July has come and gone. Did your celebration make you more informed about and aware of the ideals of the United States? Were your only thoughts on Independence Day of a day at the lake and fireworks or parades and maybe — free watermelon. I hope you also took a moment to renew your commitment to the ideals of this nation: “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was not a trivial matter. The colonists supported this declaration by pledging to each other their “Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor.”

Unfortunately, there has never been a time when these “ideals” existed for all of the people of the United States — that time is still ahead. Independence Day is a day to honor the men who founded the United States and celebrate our independence. It should also be a day to renew the pledge of our “founding fathers” and fulfill their “Declaration” made to the people of the world 243 years ago — that the United States of America is a nation committed to making equality and justice for all a reality.

Richard Peterson