What it means to me…

By on July 4, 2014 7:43:28 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

DrJBHL

Join Date 04/2002
+2162

 

Besides being my late father’s birthday, the fourth of July means a very great deal to me.

It means more than the fireworks, picnics, and barbeques; but yes, we should celebrate our Independence Day. We really should.

We should also remember how brave those colonists were, what they endured: Their suffering, their hopes and dreams back then and all those who lived and fought for the greatest and most revolutionary words ever dared written by any people anywhere, ever:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Before our Founding Fathers wrote those words, all personal rights and freedoms were granted as favors by kings and rulers, and were equally revocable.

“…unalienable Rights…”

These words were mocked then and to this day in many places.

These words are the foundation upon which our branches of government were established and upon which all of our laws are based and tested. They are the basis of our strength: The reason people come here from all over this planet to build new lives truly worth living: To be free and equal and pursue their hopes dreams.

This is what the Fourth of July means to me: This hard fought and won freedom, this wonderful and grand independence.

So, let’s all just take a moment to remember the Revolutionary War, how those men suffered the winter without adequate food, clothing or housing at Valley Forge and since in so many places and wars, before we listen to the music, marvel at the fireworks and spend time with loved ones and eat.

Let’s remember that our freedoms and safety mean so much then and today, that others stood and continue to stand in danger for us, far from the soil we fought so hard for.

Let’s honor our flag and what it represents. True, it’s only cloth, but the ground from which its fibers grew holds our blood: The blood of our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. It represents our freedom, hopes and dreams, our unity as one and our allegiance to this wonderful place and what it can and should be.

And then…please enjoy your holiday safely and fully.

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July 4, 2014 7:50:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

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July 4, 2014 12:41:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And true patriots today are also the brave souls who speak out and act against the abuses those with power perpetrate upon others - even when the abusive acts are wrapped in the flag, enveloped in John Phillip Sousa's music, and honed with quotes from our ancestors.  Let us also honor the patriots today who do not wear military uniforms, who don't get celebrations and speeches in their honor: the 'dissidents' speaking to Power, hoping that we the people will take back the freedoms and rights that have been usurped by some portions of the Government(s) of the United States of America.  A noble experiment in government, of by and for the people was launched in "1776." However, in our government's drive to be the World Empire, we are losing our way.  Honor the flag, honor the men and women, uniformed or not, who fight to roll back our governments' abuses of power, and return decision making to all of us 'little' people.  And some day, perhaps in our lifetimes, we will see the promise sung by many American voices, part of a wonderful prayer: "... O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years, thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears, America, America, g.d mend thine every flaw...

 

America The Beautiful - written by Katharine Bates and Samuel Ward

Oh beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea

Oh beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness

America, America
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law

Oh beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life

America, America
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine

Oh beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea

Oh beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music hearted sea

Oh beautiful for pilgrims feet
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee

Oh beautiful for glory tale of liberating strife
When once and twice for man's avail
Men lavished precious life

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free

Oh beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears

America, America
God shed His grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again thy whiter jubilee

Oh beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain
America, America
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea

Songwriters
Katharine Bates; Samuel Ward  PUBLIC DOMAIN

 

Make it so. So say we all.

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July 4, 2014 6:18:47 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

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July 4, 2014 7:17:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

hear hear!

great post Elana!

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July 4, 2014 8:04:26 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Props to Doc & Elana.

As for America, The Beautiful -

It's interesting (to me, anyway) that Ward's music was written 11 years before Bates wrote her poem and that they never met.  The poem was sung to a number of different melodies until the match with Ward's just stuck.  Some of the words were subsequently replaced by Bates to better match the tune (only a few).

On a bit of a somber note, it saddens me a bit that so many seem to have so little appreciation for our good fortune, or any apparent desire to preserve it for our descendants.

 

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July 4, 2014 8:35:11 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Ah....the day that celebrates when the-US-Prez-jumps-in-a-fighter-plane-to-attack-the-aliens ....

 

Enjoy your special day, guys...

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July 4, 2014 11:02:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Great post, great replies. 

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July 5, 2014 6:46:27 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

So...what happened to the fifty six signers of 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.

 

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,

 

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.

 

"...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

 

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July 5, 2014 9:58:39 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Happy belated 4'th of July and Happy Thanksgiving if I don't see you. 

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July 5, 2014 2:47:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
So...what happened to the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence?

Well now there's an interesting bit of history I haven't ever happened to stumble upon.  Thanks for that, Doc.

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July 5, 2014 6:11:46 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You lot are all three days late to the party, there's no maple syrup left, and the Great Moose-Dance is winding down. All you got to celebrate with is fireworks and freedom. What a bummer.

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July 6, 2014 1:33:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Ah....the day that celebrates when the-US-Prez-jumps-in-a-fighter-plane-to-attack-the-aliens ....

 

Enjoy your special day, guys...

 

A special day for special people.

 

; )

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