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Siesta Key Thursday, Jun. 14, 2012 5 years ago

My View: ' ... And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air ... '

by: Kevin Cooper

As the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce excitedly prepares to host, for the 22nd time, the Fourth of July community fireworks celebration on Siesta Key Beach, I must take a moment to remind my community of its extremely vital role in this event. Simply put — without the support of local residents and businesses, this event does not exist. The chamber raises the nearly $35,000 needed to fund the fireworks through the generosity shown each year by our community. Without you, and your participation, we would be unable to celebrate properly our country’s independence with illuminations in the sky ... although, perhaps relegating July Fourth to merely our Independence Day would be similar to considering Earth merely a rock. For, when our founding fathers undertook the task of authoring the Declaration of Independence, they, some knowingly and perhaps some not, would achieve something far greater than the independence of a single nation. Ayn Rand, in “Man’s Rights,” touched on the idea that through the Declaration of Independence and, subsequently, the Constitution, “the government’s function was changed from the role of ruler to the role of servant.” Indeed, the founding fathers noted that, “Experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer … than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

The Declaration of Independence is, largely, a collection of grievances against the then “King of Great Britain,” thus laying the foundation for a country based not on laws against man but laws against government. Although those who saw fit to “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” were not the same who conceived of democracy, perhaps they understood it better than all of those who came before them. One of my favorite patriots, John Adams, once aptly stated that “fear is the foundation of most governments.” The United States of America, however, created a government with the sole foundation of securing the rights of man.

Further, the declaration asserted that should a government ever become destructive of that foundation, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” The Fourth of July doesn’t just mark the birth of the United States of America; it marks one of the most important days since the birth of humankind — the day of its crowning achievement. For, after that day, it would be unable for the world to ignore the fact “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.”

Please help us continue to bring this event, which celebrates these rights, to our No. 1 beach; we can’t do it without your generosity. Support us, however you so choose, and then come out and join us on the beach as we celebrate, with a spectacular fireworks display, our Independence Day — one of the most important days in the history of the world. For more information on how you can help contact me at [email protected] or visit the chamber’s website,

Kevin Cooper is the executive director of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.

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