Friday, July 2, 2010

Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn't Free

 "Only those who bear the burden of defending freedom through sacrifice and diligence understand the true price that must be paid to ensure it's survival."


The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Have you ever wondered what ever happened to the gentle men who signed the Declaration. I got this email a few days ago and I thought it hit home the point that freedom isn't free. There is some debate about the historical accuracy of this article but it's still powerful. 
The Price They Paid 
by Gary Hildreth
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 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.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

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 Nelson, Jr., 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 similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. 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."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Perhaps you can now see why our founding fathers had a hatred for sanding armies, and allowed through the Second Amendment for everyone to be armed.

Frankly, I can't read this without crying. Some of us take these liberties so much for granted...We shouldn't.

I'd like to leave you with a wonderful video by Gene Simmons. Normally I am not a big fan of his work but this is awesome! I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Fourth of July. Remember Freedom isn't free! Thank a soldier or a vet! 

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At July 3, 2010 at 1:28 AM , Blogger welcome to my world of poetry said...

Although I am proud to be British reading this made me feel ashamed although it happened so many years ago, persecution is still going on in the world to day I think by most nations so really life hasn't changed, just the methods used.
Persecution happens between people of the samne nationality.....have we progressed? I don't think so.


At July 3, 2010 at 9:19 AM , Blogger Rayna M. Iyer said...

That is a wonderful post.
Unfortunately, today, across the world, we have forgotten our history, and shamelessly misuse the freedom each of our countries gained after so much trouble.

At July 6, 2010 at 2:59 PM , Blogger Karen said...

Thank you for sharing this....


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