The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important political documents ever drafted. Americans and those who aspire to be Americans are heirs to it.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I ask when the last time it was that you read the Declaration of Independence? You might have read it as a young student and at the time it came across as obvious because it was old and routine.

Teachers do their best with their young students, but the Declaration of Independence gets absorbed into the broader history of the colonies, King George, something about the taxes on tea, Sam Adams, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Washington, and lots of other overwhelming facts and individuals.

Reading and absorbing this world-changing document is worth your time as an adult. It is as brief as it is powerful. The authors of the statement weren't perfect and neither are the folks who read it then or now. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

This great document is available to all who read it and agree with it. It is mine and it is yours – if you want it to be yours.

There are some samples:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."

"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."

"He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people."

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

The Fourth of July, our Independence Day, is a great time to get together with family and friends and it is made better if we read our Declaration of Independence in observation.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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