The words of Thomas Jefferson found in the Declaration of Independence never fail to stir my heart. So perfect was his work that the Committee of Five (among them Ben Franklin and Sam Adams) changed only 2 words. Jefferson then had to sit through editing by members of the Continental Congress as they chopped at his masterpiece, striking among many elements, his attempt to establish the independence of those enslaved.
Say what you will about those men, but their bravery and courage cannot be discounted. All literally signed their lives away. Several would be imprisoned and threatened with death, many lost sons in the Revolutionary War, and a significant percentage were wiped out financially when their assets and property were seized by the British and their Loyalists.
If we have a clear view of the fireworks tonight it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants.