In reading about our history this week I was touched by just how big a sacrifice it was for the American Colonists to stand up for independence. They were resisting the power of the greatest military might on earth: England. They knew what a small chance they had. But they were willing, at any cost, to try.
Knowing that they could lose their reputations, their property, and even their lives, they formed ragged bands of volunteer soldiers dressed only in their homespun farm clothing, and carrying only what weapons they already owned, and proceeded to buck the tyranny of the Crown.
Even as they penned the Declaration of Independence, they knew the extent of the cost:
"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."
The Declaration of Independence wasn't the beginning of freedom. It was the beginning of fighting for that freedom. They had to fight for seven more years before the British surrendered. Seven years is a long time to put your money where your mouth is.
Many people thought the revolutionaries were crazy. Wouldn't you?
Maybe they were crazy, but they had something worth fighting for. And they left it to us.
Now, we must preserve it. It is our duty to the men who died, to the women who gave their husbands, and to the children who gave their fathers so that we would be the United States of America.
So where are we now?
Just days before the 2008 Presidential election, Obama declared "we are just 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America." Sounds like a good campaign speech, doesn't it? But after 9 months of the Obama administration, we must study this remark a little more closely.
Does America need to be fundamentally transformed?
We are a much different nation than we were in 1776. Or are we?
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
For imposing taxes on us without our consent...
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.
These statements were made about the King of England in 1776, and were included in a long list of reasons for separation from England. Doesn't it sound familiar?
Is this what the minutemen were fighting for? Wasn't it freedom? Does freedom look today as it did 200 years ago? I seriously doubt it.
We think we are still free, but in truth, we have been legislated and regulated into something far different than our founders envisioned. But we're used to it, aren't we?
We've become a nation of being told when, how, and why we can (or can't) do things. Our government reaches its hands into our pocketbooks in the name of charity. Our children are deemed much better off in the hands of professionals than parents. Babies are killed before they take their first breath. Saving energy becomes more important than saving people.
But this is what we're used to. If change happens slowly enough, it's almost unrecognizable and we call it "the American Way."
Our founders were very wise men. They understood the human mind. They included their observations in the Declaration:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
If you had sacrificed everything for this, would you be rolling over in your grave right now? I think I would, and I'm willing to bet they are.
So what do we do? Ahhh . . . good question. I have an idea, and I will share it as soon as I get out of my head and onto paper. Stay tuned . . .
Labels: America, history35 36 37 38