Amended in Assembly July 2, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

House ResolutionNo. 9

Introduced by Assembly Member Irwin

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Atkins, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Holden, Jones, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O’Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea, Quirk, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wilk, Williams, and Wood)

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February 24, 2015

House Resolution No. 9—Relative to the 4th of July.

P1    1WHEREAS, July 4, 2015, marks the 239th anniversary of the
2signing of the Declaration of Independence, and by the adoption
3of that document -- formally entitled, “The unanimous Declaration
4of the thirteen United States of America” -- the nation we today
5know as the United States of America officially came into being,
6an occasion forever memorialized by President Abraham Lincoln
7in the words of his Gettysburg Address as when “... our fathers
8brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty,
9and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”;

P2    1WHEREAS, On June 7, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
2at a location today known as Independence Hall, Virginia delegate
3Richard Henry Lee brought the following resolution before the
4Second Continental Congress of the United Colonies: “Resolved,
5That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and
6independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to
7the British Crown, and that all political connection between them
8and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved
9... .”; and

10WHEREAS, On June 8, 1776, Lee’s resolution was referred to
11a committee of the whole of the Continental Congress, at which
12time they spent most of that day, as well as June 10, debating
13independence; and

14WHEREAS, On June 11, 1776, a “Committee of Five” -- with
15Thomas Jefferson of Virginia being picked unanimously as its first
16member, and also including John Adams of Massachusetts,
17Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New
18York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut -- was charged with
19drafting a declaration of independence for consideration by the
20Continental Congress; and

21WHEREAS, The members of the “Committee of Five” assigned
22Jefferson the task of producing a draft declaration, and on June
2328, 1776, he produced a draft that, with minor changes by the
24committee members, was forwarded to the Congress for its further
25consideration; and

26WHEREAS, On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress
27adopted the Lee resolution upon the affirmative vote of 12 of the
2813 colonial delegations, an occasion that delegate and future
29President John Adams detailed to his wife Abigail in a letter written
30July 3, 1776, as follows: “Yesterday the greatest Question was
31decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps,
32never was or will be decided among Men ... .”; and

33WHEREAS, On July 4, 1776, after further debate and changes
34to the committee document, the Continental Congress adopted the
35Declaration of Independence establishing the United States of
36America, to which John Hancock that day affixed his signature,
37with 55 other delegates representing the 13 colonies -- now states
38of the newly created nation -- signing the declaration within the
39next several weeks; and

P3    1WHEREAS, July 4 is a day unlike any other -- in the history
2of the United States of America, and indeed, the world -- in that
3not only is it the day that an infant nation formally defied the most
4powerful empire on earth in a quest for freedom, liberty, and
5independence, but even more importantly because on that day this
6new nation declared as a “self-evident truth” -- known and
7knowable to all persons at all times in all places throughout the
8world -- the radical notion that “all men are created equal ...
9endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that
10among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; and

11WHEREAS, Since its adoption and bold pronouncement more
12than two centuries ago, the Declaration of Independence and the
13principles which animate that timeless document have inspired
14literally billions of persons around the world to pursue freedom in
15their own nation, for themselves and their own loved ones, and for
16their fellow men and women, and remain today an imperfectly
17unrealized goal to which all Americans and all who cherish liberty
18must rededicate themselves, just as the drafters and signers of the
19Declaration of Independence did by declaring: “with a firm reliance
20on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge[d] to
21each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”; and

22WHEREAS, On this and every July Fourth, it is both proper
23and fitting that the institutions of California government, and
24indeed all Californians, express heartfelt gratitude and indebtedness
25to those men and women who have served in the Armed Forces
26of the United States, and in particular to those who have suffered
27the injuries of battle and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in
28protecting freedom and liberty around the world, recalling the
29words of President Abraham Lincoln that, as a result of their
30profound sacrifice, “... this nation, under God, shall have a new
31birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the
32people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”; now,
33therefore, be it

34Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the
35Assembly of the State of California does -- and intends to every
36year immediately preceding the 4th of July -- take this opportunity
37to recognize and celebrate July 4, 2015, and the 239th anniversary
38of the birth of our great nation and the signing of the Declaration
39of Independence that this day represents; and be it further

P4    1Resolved, That the Assembly of the State of California calls
2upon all the people of the great State of California, and the United
3States of America, to take the opportunity of the 4th of July holiday
4to obtain a greater knowledge and understanding of the facts and
5circumstances that compelled the 13 original colonies to declare
6their independence, and of the timeless principles of liberty,
7equality, and self-determination that rest at the heart of the
8Declaration of Independence; and be it further

9Resolved, That the Assembly of the State of California, on behalf
10of a grateful citizenry, hereby expresses its heartfelt thanks,
11appreciation, and prayers to all who have served -- and who
12currently serve -- in the Armed Forces of the United States, in
13recognition of the countless sacrifices and the indispensable role
14these brave men and women have played even before the founding
15of our nation on July 4, 1776, in preserving, protecting, and
16defending the freedoms and liberties of all Americans, and
17expanding freedom throughout the world; and be it further

18Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly shall make
19available suitable copies of this resolution for distribution by
20Members of the Assembly of the State of California.