Friday, July 3, 2009
Give Me Liberty!
A people must from time to time, refresh themselves at the well-spring of their origin, lest they perish. This is an old adage that is particularly relevant on Independence Day.
This weekend most of us will be involved in some sort of 4th of July activity whether it be a parade, watching fireworks, having a backyard barbecue with family and friends, or vacationing somewhere in this great land. How many of us will actually stop and think about the blood, the battles, and the long process this country went through to become the greatest nation on earth? How many of us will fully appreciate what we have and how easily we can loose it? How many of us will thank those who have fought for our liberty, and those who have died for it? Or will we be more interested in the Bratwurst sausages on the grill and the ice creams cones melting in our hands?
In 1775, Patrick Henry made a moving speech to the Virginia Convention. He said, "Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. . . .Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not. . . .What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery: Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
On this Independence Day, 2009, here are some things you might ponder, wherever you are and whatever you are doing: When the American Flag passes by you on the parade route, probably in the hands of one of our brave soldiers or veterans, think about what you have and how easily you might lose it. Think of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States that has kept us a thriving, free nation for over two hundred years. Thank the Founding Fathers who had the knowledge, experience, and foresight to write that document not just for themselves but for generations to follow. Make a vow to uphold it and protect it and educate future generations of its importance to their freedom.
And above all, enjoy your freedom!
"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." (Inscription on the Liberty Bell, from Leviticus 25:10)