47 Faces of America

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47 Faces of America | 31Daily.com

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

There is a painting that hangs in a hallowed hall.

It has since 1826.

An oil on canvas measuring 12-by-18-feet.

Each year, three to five million of us view this painting. In fact, it’s estimated that more Americans have viewed this image than any other.

It’s a painting of 47 faces.

Faces the artist wanted us to know.

Thirty-six of those faces were painted from life.

A costly endeavor for this artist as it took years to complete… and no expense was spared.

All so that you and I and those that have come before us… and those that will follow… could know the faces of these 47 patriots.

It’s a national heirloom. A revered and tangible peak at history.

The picture, of course, is John Trumbull’s masterpiece, “The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776,” which hangs in the Capitol Rotunda.

47 Faces of America | 31Daily.com

Most likely, you know that “picture.”

And, yes, it’s worth more than thousands of words.

Yale University says, “The goal was to preserve the exact likenesses of those extraordinary individuals—aristocrats, lawyers, doctors, farmers, shopkeepers—who had put their lives and fortunes on the line.”

The forty-seven patriots? Founding Fathers of this beautiful land many of us call home.

Men who sacrificed much for an untried experiment of “liberty and justice for all.”

David McCullough, speaking for the Jefferson Lecture, said:

“The scene proclaims that in Philadelphia in the year 1776 a momentous, high-minded statement of far-reaching consequence was committed to paper. It was not the decree of a king or a sultan or emperor or czar, or something enacted by a far-distant parliament. It was a declaration of political faith and brave intent freely arrived at by an American congress. And that was something entirely new under the sun.”

We don’t think a lot about America’s Founders these days.

In fact, we don’t think much about our beginnings at all. We’re so busy with our rhetoric of discord we forget, sometimes, to remember and acknowledge that which unites instead of divides.

As Tuesday approaches, Independence Day, the Fourth of July, let us remember and honor those 47 faces. Men who gave much so we could claim the unalienable right of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

McCullough said it best of those 47 faces…

“Those brave, high-minded people of earlier times gave us stars to steer by — a government of laws not of men, equal justice before the law, the importance of the individual, the ideal of equality, freedom of religion, freedom of thought and expression, and the love of learning.”

Blessed we are, and blessed we will be as a nation and people if we remember, honor, and celebrate our history. And teach it to our children.

Have an amazing, fun, safe… and delicious… Fourth of July!

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If you have a chance… take a moment and glance at those 47 faces.

And… remember.

Hug your loved ones’ extra tight and–

Have a beautiful Independence Day!


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