Although many times I wish I didn't, I see the news headlines too. Social media has an uncanny way of helping one to view bad news in our hometowns and beyond.

As I drank my coffee on this beautiful April morning, I read news headlines including:
"Two die, others injured in San Jose crash after driver allegedly refuses to stop for police."
"Lawyers for black man killed by N.Carolina officers to release autopsy."
"3-year-old shot and killed during drive-by shooting at his birthday party in Florida."

And of course, the headline from just over a week ago that felt too close to home: 
"Eight killed in mass shooting at Indianapolis FedEx facility; suspect was former employee."

The headlines swirl in my head, and as my heart breaks daily, I hear the voice of our founding fathers. The past representatives assure me this isn't America, this isn't freedom, and the sentiment keeps hope in my heart.

The words of James Madison, one of the primary authors of the Constituion, are spoken with truth and vision, "Equal laws protecting equal rights, the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country." 
"What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?"

The headlines above contradict the statements of our founding history, but regardless, I believe we are still America. The American republic was founded on a set of beliefs to be tested, during the Revolutionary War. Among them was the idea that all people are created equal, whether European, Native American or African American. These people have fundamental rights, such as liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law and freedom of assembly. America's revolutionaries openly discussed these concepts. 
Now, it is the responsibility of our generation to continue to discuss our founding ideas openly to preserve the "American Dream," as it was intended. 
The Declaration of Independence came before the Constitution, being signed by various men who portrayed America, such as Josiah Bartlett from Amesbury, Massachusetts. By the age of 17, Bartlett had learned both Latin and Greek and began to study medicine. At 21, he moved to Kingston, New Hampshire, to open up his practice.

Another signer was George Taylor, born in Ireland. Taylor immigrated to America at the age of 20, which was no easy feat. To pay for his passage, Taylor was indentured to the ironmaster at the Warwick Furnace and Coventry Forge. He began as a laborer but was thought to be promoted to bookkeeper. He later married his master's widow and ran two ironworks. 

These men were self-made and pursuing the American Dream fully. Examples are endless and I encourage you to continue researching the other signers of our Declaration of Independence. Without knowing their hearts, it is hard to grasp what has been established.
Even though the signing of our Constitution was 245 years ago, the beliefs of these men are still relevant and vital. Accurate representation of who Americans are still today.

The signing of the United States Constitution was subsequent and occurred on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. George Washington was elected Convention President of the group to amend the Articles of Confederation. Fifty-five delegates representing 12 states attended the Constitutional Convention. After a four-month-long convention, thirty-eight delegates endorsed the Constitution, with a signature expressing persistence. 

There is a quote I often use, but not in its entirety, when conveying the sacrifice of these men, but if you choose to continue to read this series:
"America, the pursuit of life, liberty and prosperity-" my hope is you will keep this quote in its entirety, in mind by John Adams:
"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it." 
Adams expressed this sentiment in a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated April 26, 1777. He concluded his statement by adding:
“If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."