Monday, July 04, 2005
Happy Birthday, America!
July 4th, 2005 -- Independence Day, #229. (Or, as my friends and I used to call it, Entebbe Day.)
A bit of appropriate reading material for the holiday (hat tip: Richard F.), titled "George W.'s Quagmire":
Philadelphia, the American Colonies, July 4, 1776 — Leaders of the self-described “American patriots” movement gathered in this Pennsylvania city today to sign an official declaration of their political intentions, despite widespread criticism of a failing war policy and complaints that their military action was launched under false pretenses.
“Here it is, July of 1776, and George W. and his lackeys are just now getting around to declaring what this war is supposedly all about?” complained Loyalist playwright Michael LeMoore. “Washington and his neo-congressionalists rushed us into war at Lexington and Concord, before anyone had ‘declared’ a single word about independence. Face it: George lied, and people died.”
Be sure to read the whole thing.
Later: Here's a more serious perspective on the day:
What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the Crown? To each of you the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock, and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?We know of them that they mutually pledged their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor. But it's easy to forget what that means. Certainly they knew full well what they were risking... and many of them lived to see their unspoken fears realized:
Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create, is still intact.How many of us would be willing to risk what they did, with our eyes open as theirs were? It's a sobering thought.