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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Independence Day

WHEREAS, since the first settlers landed on the shores of Jamestown in 1607, citizens of the Commonwealth have cherished the principles of liberty and self-government, as well as the protections provided under the rule of law; and

WHEREAS, our Founding Fathers belief in personal responsibility, fundamental rights, and a desire for a limited and representative government precipitated extreme self-sacrifice in severing ties with the King of England, and thus, America’s War for Independence; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Convention proposed a Declaration of Independence at Williamsburg in June 1776 instructing its delegates “to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain;” and

WHEREAS, Virginian Richard Henry Lee introduced three formal resolutions on June 7, 1776, at the Second Continental Congress promoting independence from British tyrannical rule followed by Thomas Jefferson’s draft document declaring independence from Great Britain on June 11, 1776; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s Declaration of Rights was Thomas Jefferson’s inspiration for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, the model document for the other colonies, and the basis for the Bill of Rights; and

WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776, conveyed governance established upon the existence of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — rights not derived from government, but from our Creator; and

WHEREAS, on this day, citizens of the Commonwealth and the nation join together as Americans to reflect on and celebrate this unifying event in history that binds us under the ideals of freedom and justice for all and prompts us to recall the liberties affirmed by our Declaration of Independence;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize July 4, 2024, as INDEPENDENCE DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.