“The principles of our republic must be protected vigilantly at home and defended fearlessly abroad,” Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner states in a special message for Independence Day in this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast.

“Read the Declaration of Independence,” Heritage scholar David Azerrad urges. “It’s the philosophical soul of America.”

In this week’s Heritage in Focus, Dr. Feulner wishes you a Happy Independence Day. Then, the Assistant Director of the Center for Principles and Politics, David Azerrad, explains why we celebrate Independence Day on the fourth of July rather than the second, which is the day American independence was formally declared. The answer lies in the unique nature of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which was released to the public on the fourth. America celebrates that day as the national birthday because of the principles that the Declaration represents: not simply national independence, but immutable, universal rights.

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