Photo: tobyleah | Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

We understand that many of you may be busy today, hanging with friends and family, tossing back a few cold ones, and eating in such a manner as to accelerate the onset of atherosclerosis. That's what we all do on Fourth of July weekend: we party. We'll be in and out all day ourselves, but have posts scheduled as always in case you should you decide to take a breather from the steady flow of brew and burgers. If you can, spare a couple of minutes to read this before you kick off the festive long weekend. It is why July 4th is important, and trust us -- the fireworks are even better when you remember exactly what you're celebrating. One remarkable document signed by 56 courageous men exactly 232 years ago today gave birth to these United States of America. Sometimes we take it for granted. Today we remember why we shouldn't.

Happy Independence Day!