It is not choice then, but necessity that calls for Independence as the only means by which foreign Alliances can be obtained ; and a proper confederation by which internal peace and Union may be secured. Contrary to our earnest, early, and repeated petitions for peace, liberty and safety, our enemies press us with war, threaten us with danger and Slavery.
Richard Henry Lee: June 2, 1776
[One month later the thirteen colonies would vote unanimously on his resolution for independence. John Adams had this to say regarding the passage of the Lee Resolution.]
Yesterday the greatest question was decided which was ever debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided upon men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.
John Adams: July 3, 1776
[Frankly I couldn’t put it better myself. Enjoy your Independence Day, and remember at the end what it really means. -B]