There is much talk of honoring our soldiers – and there should be. There is much talk of our freedom – and there should be. There is much talk of unalienable rights, essential liberty, allegiance to our flag, colors that don’t run – and there should be. We are Americans; we are born, live, love, play, work, dream, and are buried in the greatest country on earth. We are a blessed nation; one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all who reside within America’s borders as her citizens.
Our country’s history is extraordinary and unprecedented. “Give me liberty or give me death”, Patrick Henry said, and fifty-six men personified this creed, giving their all, sacrificing much, and risking more. These men are the signers of our Declaration of Independence. Ranging in age from twenty-six to seventy, these men gave up the ability to live in silent and terrible, yet somewhat comfortable submission to the tyrant rulers of England, and revolted in a just and honorable, yet life threatening quest for freedom, liberty, and a republican form of government.
In the same week that the delegates gathered at the Continental Congress to vote on this beautiful declaration of freedom from tyranny, the British were also gathering. Thirty battle ships carrying thirty-two thousand troops gathered on Staten Island; a military force larger than the entire population of the largest city in the American colonies. Fully equipped and veteran, this war fleet was the best in the world. When our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, they meant it.
In a day and age where our President speaks of breaking “free from essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution” in order for “redistribution of wealth”, where unprecedented arrogance and disregard for law and the Constitution is rampant in our government, in a time where many are content to live in the freedom purchased in blood yet complacently allow tyranny within our land, in a godless era of pseudo-toleration that makes a mockery of the humility of true tolerance, I am reminded that many Americans are utterly and dangerously uneducated and unaware of the cost of freedom.
We know that “all gave some; some gave all”, and the men who signed the Declaration of Independence had the audacity to sign what could have been their own death warrants in 1776 to claim and ensure our essential liberty in 2010. Risking not only their lives, many had spouses and children, prestigious positions and social influence, family owned businesses, farms, stores, homes, animals, and heirlooms, and all stood to be lost and destroyed as these men, these patriots, publicly and historically declared themselves to be traitors. Five of the signers were caught and tortured, twelve had their homes ransacked, one saw two of his sons captured, one saw his son die, one was “hunted like a fox” and was forced to move his family five times in three months.
President George W. Bush said in a speech following September 11, 2001, “the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time.” May we as American’s, turn from wickedness, seek the face of God, draw strength, courage, and wisdom from the ideals and action upon those ideals of our founding fathers, and stand strong in defense of our Independence from tyranny of government. Thomas Jefferson said “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” May we honor those gone before and not remain silent in the face of ignorance, socialism, tyranny, or because of fear of defeat.
I will be celebrating this July 4th as I do most years, with my family, an abundance of food and drink, and lighting the night sky with sparkly reminders of our freedom. I wish you all a happy, blessed, and enjoyable Independence Day – We are Americans; we are born, live, love, play, work, dream, and are buried in the greatest country on earth.
God bless you all, and God bless America!