July 4 we celebrate the signing of one of the great documents of history. The Declaration of Independence is still cherished today, not only because it proclaimed the independence of a new nation; and not only because it declared that all Americans are free. The Declaration goes further than that, asserting, 'that all men are created equal'.
That principle in the Declaration was upheld last week in the historic decisions issued by the Supreme Court affording all Americans an equal right to health care and marriage, regardless of income and sexual orientation - rights that are truly essential to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'.
While those victories were monumental, there is still much work to be done. More than 47 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed it best in a way that still challenges us today:
"Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality... What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't earn enough money to buy a hamburger...?" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, March 18, 1968.
Americans will only truly be free when they have equal access to transportation; to a good job; to a living wage; to education; to voting; to time they can spend with their families, and more.
We celebrate the Declaration of Independence, not only for what it accomplished, but for what it still challenges us to do. So, as we enjoy our traditional Fourth of July activities, it would be good to remember that we're not done yet.