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Reflect on our many freedoms and the patriots who made it possiblePosted Friday, July 2, 2010, at 10:13 AM
There's much more to the observance of the Fourth of July than the Linton Freedom Festival parade, family gatherings, fireworks, corn on the cob, watermelon, and barbecued chicken.
The Fourth of July or Independence Day is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence -- a precious document our Founding Fathers used as basis for our form of government.
We should all take pride in what those brave men did on July 4, 1776.
The definitive passage in the Declaration of Independence reads: "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 rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Have you ever really thought about those 57 words that were penned by our Founding Fathers?
Look up and down the streets of our towns. See the American flags that are annually displayed this time of the year. The flags do mean more than just something to decorate the streets.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
For some it wasn't a pretty picture.
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 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
As a group they signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
How many of us would make such a bold stand for freedom and liberty today?
The signers were a diverse group.
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants; nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means and well educated.
They had security, but they valued liberty more.
Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
How many of us would have taken that chance to better our government and our lives?
They gave you and I a free and independent America.
Some days this country doesn't look or feel so good, but there is none better around the globe.
Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.
Our forefathers paid a price as did those who have served and are currently serving in the military to preserve and maintain those freedoms.
In my opinion, this group includes those faithful and talented employees at NSA Crane, its tenants and private contractors. The work they do daily to protect the U.S. warfighters remains an important cog in protecting the freedoms we all enjoy.
This is an important holiday, possibly the most important for this wonderful nation we call home.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your Fourth of July holiday festivities and silently thank these brave patriots from yesteryear.
It's not much to ask for the price they paid for you and I.
And, if truth were known, the real reason we can all enjoy this annual celebration we call the Linton Freedom Festival, is because of the chance and the bold moves this group of patriots took for each of us 234 years ago.
Happy Birthday America.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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