Obama Celebrates July 4th At White House Barbecue

Calling the Declaration of Independence more than words on an aging parchment, President Barack Obama marked the Fourth of July on Sunday by urging Americans to live the principles that founded the nation as well as celebrate them. "This is the day when we celebrate the very essence of America and the spirit that has defined us as a people and as a nation for more than two centuries," Obama told guests at a South Lawn barbecue honoring service members and their families. "We celebrate the principles that are timeless, tenets first declared by men of property and wealth but which gave rise to what Lincoln called a new birth of freedom in America — civil rights and voting rights, workers' rights and women's rights, and the rights of every American," he said. "And on this day that is uniquely American we are reminded that our Declaration, our example, made us a beacon to the world."