U.S. Fifth District Congressman Steve King pointed to the relevance of the Declaration of Independence in today's world in the patriotic ceremony during the Star Spangled Spectacular Monday at the Buddy Monument.
King took the opportunity to show how the principles of the Declaration apply to today's military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also made a reference to the "divine inspiration" behind the Declaration of Independence, possibly a reference to the ongoing debate as to whether display the Ten Commandments in government buildings should be afforded the same protections as the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.
"We're here to celebrate the birth of our nation, the United States of America," King said. "They knew at the time the Declaration of Independence would not be easy," King said of America's founders. "They knew it meant war."
"The declaration was made with divine guidance," King said. King recalled an 1802 debate in the U.S. Senate in which some of the original founders of the country made one thing clear. "They understood that the makeup of America in those days would never happen again," King said.
"Our founders' vision was a vision of freedom," King said. "They established a standard of freedom in liberty."
King fast-forwarded to contemporary American and referenced the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"In 1989 when the Berlin Wall went down the Iron Curtain went down with it," King said.
Just as the principles of the Declaration of Independence were relevant at the time they were written, those same principles are at least as relevant today, King said.
"It can also be done with the Arab world today," King said. "As for freedom, "It beats in every human heart."
"Remember, our rights came from God. We grant them to government."
King also touched upon some of the projects from which Storm Lake has benefitted under his term as congressman, including funding assistance with Project AWAYSIS, dredging, and the effort to finish the four-laning of U.S. Highway 20 across western Iowa.