July 4, 2010

The Sacrifice for Liberty, The Threat of Tyranny

~ “LETTERS FROM AMERICA” - by The Metaphysical Peregrine ~

Today, July 4th, we celebrate the birth of our nation, now 234 years old. We face the same issue now, as we did then. Do we want to live under tyranny or with liberty? We now have in power in this country people that believe in tyranny, and have the power to enforce it, and are. At the founding of our county, many sacrificed their wealth, families, and in many cases, their lives, to set the foundation for the “American Experiment”, where people decide on their own how to live their lives. Those sacrifices are in danger of being for naught.

Abraham Clark, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had two sons in the officer corps. They were captured and put on a British prison ship where they were beaten and starved, more than most, because of whose sons they were. Eleven thousand men died on the horrible ship. Toward the end of the Revolutionary War, the British told Abraham Clark that if he would recant his support of the Revolution, say he supported the King, his sons would be set free. He said “No”, and this should break everyone’s heart to this day.

Another signer, Thomas Nelson, had a huge estate that was used as headquarters by British General Charles Cornwallis. The reason Cornwallis was there, was because he was driven from Yorktown by heavy cannon fire from American forces. All around the estate, everything was in shambles, the town in ruins. The estate though, remained standing, untouched. Nelson arrived at the battle front and was enraged at what he saw. He turned to the gunners and yelled, "Why do you spare my home?". The gunners said, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson yelled back, "Give me the cannon!", and turned it on his own house. The story doesn’t end there. He had raised $2 million dollars (this is 1776 dollars, what is that value now?) by backing loans with his estates. The Congress after the war did not honor him by helping him out when the loans came due. He died losing everything, a few years after the war, at age 50.

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Nine died of wounds, disease, and any number of horrible things. One lost all 13 of his children. Two had their wives brutally beaten. All were driven from their homes, and twelve of those had their homes burned down. Seventeen lost everything they owned. That’s not all the horrible things that happened to them, but not one of them changed from their dedication to liberty and freedom. Not one became a traitor.

This Declaration is not just for what is says for America, it’s for all mankind. For the 5,000 years of civilization prior to this Declaration, men had lived under the tyranny of the few that thought they knew better how others should live their lives. Thomas Jefferson: "The Declaration of Independence [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." Yet again today, we face tyranny that so many gave so much to stop, and set men free.

Having won, and what our yearly celebration is founded upon, is from John Adams:

“Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among men. You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. ... 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 shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day's Transaction.”
(July 3, 1776)

So we have our fireworks, and parties, and church services commemorating this event, and I pray to God, that Freedom will forever triumph in my country.

The last thing John Adams said in pubic was, “Independence forever!”. May this be prophetic.