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Independence Day! Well, if that doesn't ring the bell of liberty, then I don't know what does.

It is freedom from tyranny and oppression. It is the freedom to pursue a fulfilling life, to practice liberty and to find happiness. It is a day when we, the people of this great nation, get together and celebrate the day the United States of America became a nation.

The action of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, would make history. It was on this day, the Fourth of July, that the Declaration of Independence was signed by all 56 members of Congress. It was the Declaration of the 13 United States of America; the birth of a nation.

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Later, the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights were drafted and we, Americans, have been able to live in freedom and ordered liberty for many years now. This is why we get together as a nation and celebrate.

The Declaration of Independence was the promise; the Constitution was the fulfillment.

- Emil Lukstein, Portage

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.