Wednesday we celebrate our independence and the rights our forefathers fought so hard to secure.
But one local group says that fight continues, and it's hoping people in the Ozarks will provide their signatures this Fourth.
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights says those rights are the foundation for the rest of the liberties Americans enjoy, and one local woman says she knows just how close to home the government can come to taking away those rights.
She says she hopes others will help secure their property rights this 4th of July, so everyone can truly have their independence.
Jane Carpenter loves to sit on her porch and look out over her neighborhood- a neighborhood Carpenter says the city of Ozark once considered blighted.
"It turned into 47 acres, including a lot of incidentals, which are properties that would not under any other circumstance be considered blighted," says Carpenter.
Carpenter's home was one of those incidentals, so she fought to keep it, but the city OKed a plan by a private developer that said otherwise.
"There it was, a nice big map, and I just pointed to one little square on a parking lot, and I said I'd like to see a house right there," says Carpenter.
Carpenter won her fight, but she says she never wants another Missouri family to go through what she did.
"Right now in Missouri the government can take anybody's private property and give it to a private developer," says Carpenter.
"We have built into our constitution, in article 6 section 21, provision that provides for using eminent domain when they can use blight as an excuse," says Ron Calzone, with Missouri Citizens for Property Rights.
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights is a group working to get two amendments to the state constitution on the ballot.
"What our two petitions will do are take us from the most abused to the most protected in the United States," says Carpenter.
In 2006 the Missouri Legislature passed House Bill 1944, which changed statue, but because eminent domain is in the constitution, Calzone says the amendments are the only way to protect against abuse.
That's why on this Independence Day grass roots volunteers, like Carpenter, will be out gathering the more than 200,000 signatures they need.
"I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing on the 4th of July than helping to get this instated," says Carpenter.
Instated, so others can have the same right Carpenter won: to sit on her porch free to stay as long as she wants.
Those volunteers will be in the Springfield 4th of July parade and at Washington park collecting signatures.
If you would like to volunteer to gather signatures, you can visit Missouri Citizens for Property Rights' web address.