May the Fourth be with you!
At the time that the Declaration of Independence was authored barely 200 years ago, no constitutional democracy existed in the world. This little colony, and the great men and women who lived here, fired a shot that is still being heard around the world.
The Declaration of Independence is not simply a national treasure, it is a world treasure, representing the highest and loftiest aspirations of mankind. The ideals contained in that document are forever, and they apply to each and every person this world over. Ask ye not then for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee...and me...and all of us. What a great tradition we have inherited. Its beauty is stunning, and humbling. The best way we have of honoring those who paid such dear prices for what we now enjoy, is to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices.
The Price of Freedom
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died
from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they
pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas NelsonJr, noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free!
"May the Fourth be with you!" was submitted to gozarks by way of an email pass-along, courtesy of Nelson.
softly upon the earth radiating the brilliance of your soul."