The Fourth of July is the birthday of America! More than two centuries ago, a group of wise and courageous men laid the foundation for the most powerful, most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Unfortunately, in the years that have followed, revisionists, conspirators and historical debunkers have taken great pains to cast doubt upon the character and motives of our Founding Fathers. This falsification of our history has contributed to the sad fact that in the 20th century, the meaning and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States is consistently ignored and sometimes even denigrated by lawmakers and public officials who have solemnly sworn to uphold and defend it.

How can we best befriend our nation in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty?First and foremost, we must be righteous. John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Second, we must learn the principle of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be."

Third, we must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented. We must make sure that those who represent us in our local, state and national governments are good, wise, honest and dedicated to constitutional principles.

Fourth, we must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, our teaching and our advice. The address, phone numbers and e-mail of our government representatives are printed frequently in the newspaper.

May we who love and cherish freedom have the faith and courage exhibited by those patriots who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

Margaret Townsend

Logan