Amazingly, we have reached the 4th of July 2013 after half the year has gone by. During this past six months, we were going to lose weight, repent of our sins, be nice to rude people at WalMart, avoid swearing at ignorant drivers, and clean out the garage. Among other duties, tasks, and procrastinations. I woke up at 7:00, a rare occurrence since I am usually awake by 5:00 a.m. and go around sleep deprived and grumpy all day. I put the flag out in our front yard, retrieved the newspapers, and sat down to read all about today's tragedies. But then I found the Declaration of Independence, reproduced in its entirety, on the editorial page of the Salt Lake Trib. I read it slowly, word for word, recognizing most of the words of this incredible document. I marveled once more at the brilliance, courage, eloquence, and decisiveness of this incredible group of men and of the man who penned and summarized the thoughts of all who participated in this momentous event. Democracy in our country has not always lived up to the high ideals so wonderfully expressed in this immortal document, but the United States is our democracy and we will take it, warts and all, to any other form of government that has ever been devised. We scratch our heads at egregious acts, deeds, and words by the uninformed and the overzealous. But we are a government "of the people and by the people and for the people" and people are not perfect. We forge ahead, rejoicing in our successes, mending our mistakes, cussing those with whom we disagree. But in the end, we all come together and remain speaking to one another, celebrating the 4th of July and all it stands for one more time and, for that, we give eternal thanks.