Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What I hope my children will remember about Independence Day

Today is Independence Day.  Today we remember the brave men who mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor so that we could have the freedom God intended us to have.  In the words of another great American - “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

As luck would have it, my family is not home today and I will be celebrating my favorite holiday alone.  I have thought a lot about my family, freedom and what I hope they remember about this day.  Here are a few of my thoughts:

Freedom is always given to us by others.  It is a priceless gift that is only ever obtained through struggle and sacrifice.

There is no way to ever repay our benefactors.  It is simply a gift that must be paid forward to our children – improved upon.

The state of freedom is always precarious.  Tyrants will always seek to stamp it out wherever they find it springing up around them, often with violence.  Others, men and women with “good intentions”, will quietly chip away at our freedoms in subtle ways; slowly forging our chains a law, regulation or tax at a time until our freedom is lost.

Constant vigilance and a willingness to stand up and fight are freedom’s only safeguards.

As we celebrate our nation’s birth today we will recall the names of Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and others who gave us this great nation.  I hope my children will always remember and revere these names.  I also hope that they will prize, as their own personal gems, the names of their ancestors who stepped into the breach over 230 years ago:

Pvt. Richard Chamberlain – CT
Capt. Hope Lothrop (Lathrop) – CT
Soldier – Jesse Barbre – NC
1st Lt. Wakeman Burr – CT
Pvt. Samuel Young – MA
Pvt. Supply Reade – MA
Capt. William Neill (Neal) – NC
Cpl. Jonathan Bidlack – CT
2nd Lt. Zaccheus Clough – NH
Cpl. Moses Curtis – MA (Fought at Battle of Bunker Hill)
Pvt. Enoch Wellington – MA
Pvt. Martin Harmon – MA
Pvt. Samuel Meacham – NH
Pvt. Asael Smith – NH
Isaac West – SC
George Booth Malone – VA
Pvt. James Collins – NC

Finally and above all, I hope that they will always remember He who makes us “free indeed” – Almighty God, the author and finisher of our faith and freedom.

Happy Independence Day!