As we all know July Fourth is the celebration of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of this nation from England. There was a price to be paid by the people who backed this document, I’m sure we’ve all seen this:
Of the 56 signers, five were captured and tortured by the British. Nine fought in the Revolutionary War and died from their wounds or hardships. A dozen had their homes destroyed. Four had sons that were killed or captured. When Congress moved to Baltimore as the British advanced, John Hancock's infant daughter died from the hardships of the winter trip. William Ellery lost his house and property. Richard Stockton was beaten and jailed, and while in jail, his estate burned. Carter Braxton lost his fortune as well. Thomas McKean served in the Congress without pay, and kept his family in hiding. Heyward, Rutledge and Middleton were captured by the British and jailed for a year. Clymer, Hall, Harrison, Hopkinson and Livingston lost their properties. Thomas Nelson lost his home and died bankrupt. Francis Lewis lost his home and property as well and his wife was jailed for two months. John Hart lost his farm, hid in forests for over a year, and when he returned, found his wife had died and his 13 children disappeared. Seventeen others lost everything they owned. Taken from Cin. Enquirer.
Some of these things are known to be false, some exaggerated and some are true, but you get the picture. There is always a price to pay when you go against the grain of accepted thought. That is what these people did. Throughout the history of this nation we have seen this time and again. Only one third of the people here wanted to push for independence from England. If you read life magazine from world war two you will find that it reads much like the New York Times does these days when referring to the current military actions taking place in the middle east now. There were articles published during that time that say exactly the same thing that people who don’t agree with current policy are saying now. “Too many insurgents” “We will never get out” Do a little research, its actually pretty interesting that the exact phraseology was used in seemingly all opposing stances to any military action this country has been involved in at any time.
To me, this is what makes this country so great, that a genuine theater of ideas can be presented and discussed without fear of political imprisonment or worse. The movements put forward in the recent past are somewhat disheartening because it shows more credence to be given to mob mentality and a grand show than actual ideas. Take into account the recent marches and demonstrations on behalf of illegal aliens that took place in major cities here in the U.S. Other than making a pretty picture for the television what did it accomplish? In reality it made the actual citizens of this nation that pay for the services these people use pretty damn mad. A classic example of shooting off ones foot. While it is true that the last thing that citizens of this country desire to see is the flag of a foreign nation being flown so predominantly in the streets (that we pay to pave) of our own nations cities, it is also true that complaining on line or on radio talk shows does not help. The only way to get anything done is to work within the legal system that exists and was set up for this type of thing. Shouting and yelling in the streets is a tool used by third world nations that govern by polls and force.
Statistically speaking our country is on the downward slide of societies lasting for more than two hundred years. But I cling to the thought that Freedom is an inevitability when you have human beings involved. It is a bloody and painful fight that can not be dropped for an instant, but it will happen in the evolution of human society, unless of course we perish suddenly from a plague or an asteroid.
Freedom. Freedom from tyranny. That to me is what this nation was built on and stands for. Thousands of innocent people died and their bodies are mangled in the foundation that this country is set on. People have been wronged by this nation, murdered by this nation, displaced by this nation, yet in this nation lies the greatest hope for the future of freedom on this planet. Nothing is perfect or ever will be, we all know this to be true. As a people we must learn from the mistakes of the past and move forward as individuals who cherish our freedom. That is the way of hope for our nation, and indeed this society as a whole.
When you are celebrating this weekend keep these things in mind, and be proud that individual freedom still exists in this land.