Let Freedom Ring! It was 1976. The United States bicentennial celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. A colossal family road trip, from the Oklahoma panhandle to the East Coast, and an unforgettable history lesson. I was six.The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution.“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.”At the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. with Carl Albert, Speaker of the House, and a friend of my dad from Oklahoma.My brother and I in our bicentennial overalls crack me up, D.C.The Liberty Bell at Independence Hall, PhiladelphiaIn the city of brotherly love, the Declaration and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted at Independence Hall, where the Liberty Bell remains, crack and all. The symbolic inscription reads: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). All means all.One of my all-time favorite photos of Dad and Lady Liberty.We rode the ferry to Ellis Island and ascended the steps within the Statue of Liberty all the way into her crown. The torch was closed, but the harbor remained open, welcoming the world’s homeless, freedom seekers. At the pedestal, there is a bronze plaque inscribed with the Emma Lazarus poem: The New ColossusNot like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries sheWith silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”Picturesque Patriotism at HomeMy country tis of thee,Sweet land of liberty,Of thee I sing.Land where my fathers died!Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!From every mountain side,Let freedom ring!God Bless America and Happy Fourth of July wherever you are!