All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man… those are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
–Thomas Jefferson, in his last known letter, acknowledging but declining, for ill health, an invitation to the 50th anniversary celebrations of American Independence. Ten days after writing these words, Jefferson would die, on 4th July, 1826.
May our celebrations on this 232d anniversary, and our collective and individual actions in the coming year, be worthy of Jefferson’s last words.