On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. On that day, the thirteen colonies declared that they were sovereign. With the Revolutionary War still raging, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and others wrote and signed a document explaining why the United States of America chose to "dissolve the political bands" connecting it to Great Britain. They wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." While this Union has not been perfect, Independence Day, the 4th of July, is a time to celebrate our independence and our efforts in pursuit of that more perfect union.