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We Hold These Truths....... 
Posted on July 8, 2009 at 12:11 PM.
I wrote this right before the 4th of July this year, thought I'd post it here.

Anywho, the real reason for this entry is the 4th of July right around the corner. I'd like to wait until Saturday to write this, but I have a feeling I will be too busy with family stuff, eating, blowing stuff up etc to write.
I looked at some interesting articles the last few days and found some pretty neat quotes. Check out this qoute from John Adams to his wife. (remember, the the resolution of independence was voted on and approved on July 2).

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more"

Pretty good foresight from one of the founders of our country huh? Even back then, in the infant days of freedome for our country, the great men who took those necessary steps to free us from tyranny knew what the results would be. It's often said that history isn't made for many years, that you have to get a certain time from an event or happening to appreciate it's historical significance, yet one day, 24 hours after they voted on the resolution of independence, it was seen as something that would live for generations. Fast forward 233 years, and we still are (rightfully) celebrating our independence.

The Declaration has been said to be signed later than July 4th, but was adopted by the Contintenal Congress on July 4th, hence the significance of that date. This document obviously holds significant meaning, if for nothing else than this statement.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What an absolutely moving statement. Think about the magnitude of what that says. This was in a day before the internet, before Starbucks, before planes. This was in a time where there was no structure, no roads, no overt form of domestic government, yet many men had the courage, foresight, and desire to step away from a form of government that did not allow them those things. They faced certain death for treason if captured, and still risked it for the CHANCE at happiness. Not a guarantee, but rather the chance to live out their days as they saw fit. Maybe it just strikes me now because it doesnt seem we have many people now a days that are willing to take such a stand, on any issue. Without that statement, without those words, many of us, myself included wouldnt have the opportunity to do as we please, to make our lives what we want each and everyday.

I think we need a stark reminder every now and again of where we came from, and the (ongoing) cost to maintain that freedom. There are lives lost and sacrificed daily both domestic and abroad to keep that freedom. Whether we agree with the war or not, doesn't mean we shouldnt support the men and women who for the last 230+ years have, through written word, gun, boat and plane fought to deliver us to a land of choice. This process, the breaking away, the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, these were just ideals at that point in time. We have 230 years of tradition, they simply had an idea they fought for. I can't imagine the courage it took to take these ideals and transform them into a way of life, which directly opposed every form of government prior.

Maybe the most overlooked (and interesting) statement comes towards the end of the Declaration.

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Think that line has been preached at all? We mutually pledge to each other our lives.......no wiggle room there. These were individual men and women who banded together for a common ideal; freedom. When have we ever had that type of resolve, that steadfastness to pledge our lives, our sacred honor. I don't know anyone that talks like that (unfrotunately), but this was back in a time when words meant something. Truly a different breed of people, and ones we should be grateful were able to forge into the birth of our country.

As many of you know, I come from a military family with a grandfather who served in WWII (Army) and a dad who was active and reserve Air Force for many years, up through the late 90's. I've heard stories from both, and we've all witnessed moments of freedom, terror, unknown and resolve. Maybe it's time we as a country pledge our lives, our sacred honor to OUR ideals, and realize that we all are created equal with certain unalienable rights, specifically the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our freedom has been fought for and celebrated for years. We've endured wars overseas, both for our freedom and the liberation of other people. We've witnessed unspeakable acts both overseas and on our own soil. Our freedom has been tested, it has been fought for, and it has been rekindled. Unfortunately, liberty isn't something that is won and held forever without a test. As Thomas Jefferson said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" We've seen this in our day, as have our parents, grandparents and every generation dating back to the 1760's. It's really remarkable when you think back to thsoe days and what it meant. But I fear that too often we don't take the time to appreciate our history, our culture, our roots as a country. We are a relatively young country, but have a vast history already, don't lose sight of that.

I've always said the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. There's plenty of food, gathering of friends and family, sunshine (hopefully), and fireworks. It's the perfect summer holiday that draws us all in. But my favorite thing is seeing everyone in red white and blue, celebrating our heritage. We celebrate a country, an ideal, a thought that lives within us all. We harken back to a day where we weren't man and woman, black and white, but where ALL men are created equal. It may have taken us a few years, but we've gotten there. Those ideals continue to live on and will continue as long as there are those who remember, who are willing to learn, to listen, and to pass on. As my generation takes the stage as the parent generation, it's our obligation to share what freedom is, what it means to us, to our countrymen, what it took, how we got here. It takes alot to realize that these names we read about, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams are more than just names, they were living, breathing people. They weren't some fictional derivations of a crafty mind, but men who walked the very grounds that we do. They believed in an idea, a simple idea, but one that took a war to achieve. They fought for it and in the face of unknown resistance, and threat of death, stepped away from their homeland and risked it all for their kinsmen, for their kids, and future generations. Don't forget that these were real men who did this, no different than you or me.

As we get to the 4th, take a few minutes and think about what freedom is to you, what it allows you to do. Think about what it meant for those men and women to declare their independence. Try to understand the origins of our country. This is our land, let's take some time to learn, to study, to research and remember where we came from. I'm always moved at these types of holidays and rememberances, I hope some of you are too.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Independence Day, and God Bless America.
Comments
# 1 aimiami @ Jul 8
um really
 
# 2 moose1619 @ Jun 29
as we approach july 4th this year, I can't think of a better blog. Good stuff!
 
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