July 2, 2013
Dear Honey Run Friends,
Fifty-six. That is the number of men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor for themselves and all two-and-a-half million citizens of the thirteen colonies for freedom. We talk a lot about the cost of freedom and we pay tribute with parades, public celebrations, documentaries, and movies. But if we have not lost a soldier in the line of duty, or sacrificed a relationship while a loved one is away at war, we have no idea the true sacrifice and cost. We try out of respect and gratitude to understand and feel compassion for those who experience this first hand, but we fail to comprehend the price paid without personally experiencing the loss. What we do know and often take for granted is that we live in a nation founded on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What I find amazing is that even during the revolution, the citizens were not in a majority of support to break away from the British rule. It took a confident minority to stand on their principles and morals to fight for the common good for all citizens, even the neutral ones. In the end, we all have been given the gift of this great country because of the foresight and courage of the fifty-six signing members of Congress who took the risk of all they had including their lives, and declared for the world to see the injustices that were being levied on the colonies and its citizens. They eloquently and methodically laid out their case and cited twenty-seven indictments against the King. While one of the most recognizable quotes in the English language is found in the preamble, I find the conclusion as the most powerful statement. The preamble and indictments are necessary to state the reason for the conclusion, but the power for me is that the conclusion is the actionable piece. This is where our founding fathers took the leap of faith and passed the point of no return. They sealed their future and our future with their signature and fortitude.
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.
I get chills thinking about the choice that was made to declare our independence. I read the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July to remind me of the sacrifice and courage that was laid down for me to have the opportunities I enjoy now. I hope you have the time to read this historical document and marvel at the beginning of our great country.
Your fellow patriot and citizen,