As we celebrate the 237th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, ask yourself what freedom means to you; what will you sacrifice for freedom.
These United States have changed in unimaginable ways since 1776. The Founding Fathers could not begin to fathom things as they are today. However, the Founding Documents ring as true now as they did then. All you have to do is put them into context by understanding the reason and emotion the writers had.
When the Founding Documents are read without bias of political blinders and without the “righteous” outlook many have today – enlightenment can happen.
The Declaration of Independence did just that – it informed King George III that we no longer wished to be part of the British Empire, the United States would govern themselves.
Although the first shot of the Revolution was on April 19, 1775 the pot began to boil much earlier. Those involved in securing freedom and beginning a new nation were impassioned they knew their challenge would demand sacrifice.
We all know the sacrifice the Colonial Army and Navy incurred. Sacrifice is expected from the military. Many families endured sacrifices as the British fought a “scorched earth” policy to encourage capitulation from the Americans.
A story not as well known is that of Abraham and Sarah Clark. Abraham Clark was a delegate from New Jersey and a signer of the Declaration. Two of his boys were officers in the Continental Army. The British captured the Clark brothers and placed them on the prison ship Jersey. One was fed only as much as could be shoved through a keyhole. Their freedom could be secured if Abraham Clark denounced his support of the Declaration. After much thought and counsel with his wife, he stood by his convictions and did NOT denounce his support. His son died on the prison ship. The other one released after some time died young. That is sacrifice.
What are you willing to sacrifice? Today, if no other, you could read the Declaration of Independence and try to understand its true meaning. The Constitution should be mandatory reading; today could be the day for that. The Federalists Papers provides insight to the Founders thoughts and reasonings.
Spending an hour of the day telling your children the true meaning of the Fourth of July is a simple start. Using your day off to read legislation, or writing your Representatives and let them know that you, their boss, are watching them and holding them accountable.
A simple sacrifices can be made; your time. Take an active role in your government; that is the only way to ensure freedom lasts