On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to declare our nation’s independence from Great Britain. Days later, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and each year on the Fourth of July, we commemorate the proclaiming of our country’s independence and beginning our journey as a democratic nation.
The United States remains an unlikely experiment wherein the belief that all people are created equal compels us to continue the work to realize that vision. That work is what preserves America’s standing as a beacon of hope and opportunity for those around the world seeking a brighter future. But as history—both long past and more recent—shows us, democracy is not easy to secure or guaranteed to thrive. It takes brave leaders, willing public servants, and a commitment to establish and maintain.
As we celebrate the contributions of our founding, it is critical we acknowledge that while equality for all people might have been enshrined in a document, the road to true equality is still being paved today, 245 years later. We cannot rest until all people are entitled to freedom and opportunity, no matter what they look like, where they are from, or who they love.
Here at USAID, we honor the sacrifices that gave rise to our democracy by working with other nations to support their efforts to establish or maintain their own. Every day, USAID works to make good on America’s promise by confronting human rights abuses, promoting the rule of law, and fighting authoritarianism and democratic backsliding.