On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress resolved that the bonds between the British crown and Colonies should be dissolved. This day of decision was the date to be remembered and celebrated. Instead, we celebrate the date of bureaucracy two days later when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.
The Declaration was not received on either side of the Atlantic as the declaration of life and liberty it is celebrated today, but as a declaration of grievances, prerogatives, and justification. It was ultimately a document of public diplomacy, written and disseminated to the world to create support for a cause.
As we Americans celebrate the act of diplomacy in public toward European political, economic, and social leaders, we should recall the passages that were critical to the Founders and not the selected text we remember we tend to recall today. Reread the text below as it was intended: a declaration of reason, purpose, a call for support, and ultimately an act of public diplomacy.