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Our independence gives us the freedom to succeed

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

The men who faced the hangman’s noose helped ensure freedom

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean,

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.



“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

To refresh an eighth grade history lesson, these are the 56 representatives of the Congress of the 13 original United States of America who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the final statement therein binding them to the consequences of their courage.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Today, 232 years later, we still owe our success and that of our enterprises to the basic freedoms fostered under the guidance provided by this document, a concept these gentlemen expressed as the right of every American to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As you enjoy this holiday weekend I urge everyone to take these freedoms to heart and make the most of the opportunities you are given, no matter how many or few resources are currently at your command. To do less is to compromise… something these men never did.

Congratulations and thank you to all our 800 partners, from Denver to Glenwood Springs. Today, along with America’s birthday, we celebrate your achievements and the livelihoods and opportunities your businesses provide to our citizens. You are truly the backbone of this great country.



Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.


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