2010-07-03 / Editorials & Letters

Remember the sacrifices for freedom


As we celebrate this Holiday in honor of the birth of our great nation, let us reflect upon the men and women who stood for freedom. Let us remember the sacrifices made some 235 years ago in the name of freedom. Let us also remember the faith of these who gave all that they had. Faith, that God was guiding them into the storms of war, so that we may live as freemen.

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry stood before his fellow Virginians and spoke of fulfilling the great responsibility we hold to God and our Country. In closing his voice became thunderous and declared, “Almighty God! I know not what course others may take: but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

July 2, 1776 while the Declaration of Independence was being penned in Philadelphia, Washington gathered his troops on Long Island. Washington wrote in the General Orders to his men that day, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.”

The Declaration of Independence closes with; “And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

It’s those eloquent lines of the second paragraph that has stood down the years, moving the human spirit as neither Jefferson nor anyone could have foreseen. Jefferson wrote them for all the ages:

“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 them 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.”

Samuel Adams declared while a parchment of the Declaration was being signed, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from rising to the setting sun, let His Kingdom come. “

Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island, who suffered from palsy, said “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

John Adams understood what a momentous day it was. “This day will be the most memorable epocha 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.”

John Quincy Adams on July 4, 1837 wrote, “Next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, our most joyous and most venerated festival is on this day. In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. It forms a leading event in the Progress of the Gospel dispensation. The Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact of the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission on earth. “

God Bless America!
Steve Thorp
Licking Township

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