Opinion: What will you contemplate on July 4? Tell us in a letter

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" is seen at the U.S. Capitol during a ceremony on Dec. 6, 2022.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Every Fourth of July, the words of the Declaration of Independence resonate in news reports and radio shows: “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.”

Regardless of how familiar they are, they never fail to challenge our understanding of what America is about. Can such aspirations be fulfilled? How far are we from meeting those ideals? Have we reversed our progress?

Questions like these have stirred debate since our nation’s founding. The last few years have made them more urgent — an insurrection after the 2020 presidential election, heightened mistrust of government and among ourselves, growing inequality and a contraction of individual rights.


Have recent events shaken your faith in the promise of our founding document? What should give us hope, even in a deeply politically divided nation?

We want to hear from you on these questions. Tell us what you’ll be thinking about on Independence Day.

Send us your thoughts in a letter to the editor of no more than 200 words to; you can also use our online letter submission form. I look forward to reading your letters and publishing several of them on July 4.