Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day - July 4th, 2009

"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be."- John Wayne

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. T homas 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. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged:"For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor"

This humble blogger thanks these men from the bottom of his heart for their bravery and sacrifice.

I hope and pray that their blood still runs though my veins, and the veins of my countrymen.

Finally - what better way to celebrate the founding of this great nation than to honor the beautiful American women who have found imaginative ways to drape themselves in Old Glory's great majesty:

And to those who wish to light up the night sky tonight with color and thunder, I leave you with the words of Professor Glenn Reyn0lds:

...there’s a big difference between setting off your own fireworks and sitting passively while others do it for you — the difference, if I may say so, between having sex and watching porn.

Happy 4th of July !


Anonymous said...


Best 4th of July post so far.

cbullitt said...

Outstanding. I hope I don't have to make a similar sacrifice, but it may come to that.
As for the babes, I used all mine up on a Memorial Day post. So, thanks for reminding us what's worth fighting for.

Jkw said...

Happy 4th