The purpose of this monument is to forever stand as a tribute to our nation's Founding Fathers who created the two most important documents that laid the foundation of our country: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. This monument also honors our nation's veterans, who from the time of George Washington, when that first Minuteman fired "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" (which echo still rings of freedom), have forged the fiber that has been woven into the fabric of our country and whose continued sacrifice have helped keep our nation free, united and strong.
History Of Our Nation's Founding Fathers
On July 2nd, 1776 in the city of Philadelphia, the 56 delegates from the thirteen colonies to the 2nd Continental Congress, after days of debate and revision, formally voted for independence from Great Britain declaring The United Colonies free and independent states. The final form of the document was adopted two days later on July 4th as The Declaration of Independence. In the weeks that followed, all of the 56 delegates signed their names to the document. By their signatures they committed an act of treason for which they could have been put to death. However, their brave action also set in motion a series of events that created a new nation - The United States of America. It is, therefore, fitting that they will forever be honored as our nation's founding fathers.
The Founding Fathers, What Kind Of Men Were They?
With the exception of Benjamin Franklin, these were not old men. Eighteen were under 40 years old and three were in their 20s. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. Twenty five were lawyers or jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers or large plantation owners and another nine were doctors, ministers and politicians. One was a teacher, one a musician and one a painter.
The "Father of our Country", General and Commander in Chief of Colonial Armies in the Revolutionary War, first President of the United States (1789-1797)
"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
Principal author of the Declaration of Independence, second Vice President, third President of the United States (1801-1809), founder of the University of Virginia.
"The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expressions should be our first object."
Co-author of the Declaration of Independence, served twice as Vice President, second President of the United States (1797-1801).
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people."
"Always stand on principle...even if you stand alone."
Helped draft the Declaration of Independence, first ambassador to France, negotiated "Treaty of Paris" ending the Revolutionary War, founded the University of Pennsylvania, inventor.
"They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Honesty is the best policy."
Recognized as the "Father of the American Revolution", signer of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Massachusetts (1793-1797).
"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can."
Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson, Father of the U.S. Constitution, sponsored the Bill of Rights, fourth President of the United States (1809-1817).
"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood."
The Legacy Of The Founding Fathers
The United States of America is unrivaled in its success as a democracy. We have had only one form of government since the Constitution was ratified in 1788. Neither our closest allies nor our fiercest enemies have experienced the stability with which we have been blessed. This would not have happened, when or how it did, if it were not for the group of intelligent and dedicated men we call our "Founding Fathers."
It is fitting that this, "Your American Heritage Monument", be dedicated this July 2, 2013 in the City of Atascadero, California on the 237th anniversary of the birth of our nation when we became "The United States of America."
This monument is under the sponsorship of the local Vandenberg Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars whose charter is to promote patriotism, good citizenship, and to further patriotic education in the community.