July 4, 2015

July 4 {1776}

Happy Independence Day America! I have such a profound pride for my country, the men who took a stand in something they believed in; created the foundation for our country, the freedoms we have has a result and the men and women who still defend them today.
There's been a lot of talk lately about the American Flag - slavery, the wars fought under it, those that have lost their lives in said wars or from horrific accounts of the mentally unstable and even hate crimes, those that feel injustices against them, personal battles turned into town riots. People are stomping on and burning the flag. No flag is unclean from the world. But no flag stands for all the wrong either. My flag stands for life, liberty, freedom from oppression, the right for me to say, think, worship, act how and where I please. Of course all of this has consequences, both good and bad. It's not all one-sided. And neither is the flag. For those who are stomping, burning and banning this flag, their right to do so is protected under the same flag. 
I thought I would share some of what I've seen circulating social media this past week, a brief history of those that signed the Declaration Of Independence.  

On July 2, 1776, the Thirteen Colonies voted to separate from Great Britain. A hush fell over the room. The late afternoon sun fired a brass candlestick on the green felt tablecloth, a pair of spectacles, the silver knob of a walking stick. Men gazed out the window, some with tears in their eyes. A few prayed.
Their chairman, John Hancock, broke the silence: “Gentlemen, the price of my head has just doubled!”
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 serving 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.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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