Historic Words that Continue to Inspire Cap Parlier
While this site is about Cap's writing and this section contains words that are clearly not Cap's, he cannot resist their elegance and extraordinary significance to Cap, his countrymen, and many other free people throughout the world. Please permit and enjoy their inclusion. The reader does not have to be an American to appreciate the glory of these words.
Every year, since our children were old enough to understand some of the words, the 4th of July has been remembered and dedicated to the reading of the Declaration of Independence. As our children grew, each of them took their turn reading the the Declaration on the 4th of July. When the kids grown, off on their own, and no longer in town for Independence Day, Cap tries to find any willing audience to listen to his reading of the Declaration, or read to himself.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
In Congress; 4 July 1776,
WHEN IN THE course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands....
WE HOLD THESE truths to be self-evident, 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.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.
(signed: 17.September.1787; ratified: 21.June.1788; unanimously ratified: 29.May.1790)
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A WELL REGULATED Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
ALL PERSONS BORN or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.
For some thoughts on the controversary regarding the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, see Cap's essay, THOUGHTS ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT, and other related writing contained in the Essays by Cap Parlier section.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; 19 November 1863,
FOUR SCORE AND seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
. . . that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
These simple, glorious words have meaning and significance far beyond the moment they were intended to consecrate. President Abraham Lincoln struggled with his choice of these succinct words to commemorate those who lost their lives on the battlefields of Gettysburg during the epic engagement of July 1863. And yet, these words span centuries and truly capture the dreams of all those who want liberty and freedom.
I HAVE A DREAM
Lincoln Memorial, Washington; DC, 28 August 1963,
FIVE SCORE YEARS ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.
. . .
I HAVE A dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." . . . I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
. . .
WHEN WE LET freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s words have melody, poignancy and drama by themselves. Placed in the cauldron of 1960's and the civil right movement, they represent the clarion call for all human beings to genuinely enjoy ". . . certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." His words are some of the most powerful and emotional words spoken in the last century.