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Happy independence day, tomorrow....
#351357 07/03/11 08:28 PM
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I have always liked President Ronald Reagan's speech. It brings meaning to the 4th of July to me that I think too many either do not know, or have forgotten.

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“There is a legend about the day of our nation's birth in the little hall in Philadelphia, a day on which debate had raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who had flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign the Declaration of Independence was such an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words "treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe," and the issue remained in doubt.

The legend says that at that point a man rose and spoke. He is described as not a young man, but one who had to summon all his energy for an impassioned plea. He cited the grievances that had brought them to this moment and finally, his voice falling, he said, "They may turn every tree into a gallows, every hole into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die. To the mechanic in the workshop, they will speak hope; to the slave in the mines, freedom. Sign that parchment. Sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the Bible of the rights of man forever."

He fell back exhausted. The 56 delegates, swept up by his eloquence, rushed forward and signed that document destined to be as immortal as a work of man can be. When they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he was not to be found, nor could any be found who knew who he was or how he had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors.

Well, that is the legend. But we do know for certain that 56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor.

What manner of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants and tradesmen, and nine were farmers. They were soft-spoken men of means and education; they were not an unwashed rabble. They had achieved security but valued freedom more. Their stories have not been told nearly enough.

John Hart was driven from the side of his desperately ill wife. For more than a year he lived in the forest and in caves before he returned to find his wife dead, his children vanished, his property destroyed. He died of exhaustion and a broken heart.

Carter Braxton of Virginia lost all his ships, sold his home to pay his debts, and died in rags. And so it was with Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Rutledge, Morris, Livingston and Middleton. Nelson personally urged Washington to fire on his home and destroy it when it became the headquarters for General Cornwallis. Nelson died bankrupt.

But they sired a nation that grew from sea to shining sea. Five million farms, quiet villages, cities that never sleep, three million square miles of forest, field, mountain and desert, 227 million people with a pedigree that includes the bloodlines of all the world. In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation.

It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history.

Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government.

Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.

We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. “


--Ronald Reagan, President of the United States (1981)

Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
michael_d #351359 07/03/11 08:50 PM
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Good stuff. I hope I'm never tested how those men were tested, but if it comes to it, here's hoping we can all put our ideals above our own lives when it counts.

Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
michael_d #351360 07/03/11 08:53 PM
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Incredible and brave men they were indeed, thanks for sharing Mike.

I hope that everybody here has a great day in celebrating our independence!


Rick
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Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
RickF #351362 07/03/11 09:00 PM
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Thanks for sharing that Mike.


Dave
Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
DaveG #351369 07/04/11 04:49 AM
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indeed

Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
michael_d #351372 07/04/11 05:17 AM
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It's good for all of us to be reminded of that from time to time, Mike, and this is certainly an appropriate time. Happy 4th!.


-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
JohnK #351373 07/04/11 06:19 AM
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We are back "home" visiting family and they do their big air show and fireworks on July 3rd every year (kind of nice since everyone that gets the holiday off, has it off the day after). We spent time shooting off some things of our own on the 2nd and then after the big show tonight.

Lots of patriotism flows through me, and it is great to see people put their differences aside for at least a few hours, share some food and drink, watch some brave (and crazy) pilots (B1 Bomber, A10, some biplanes, stunt planes, a wing walker, and more) and parashooters (Golden Knights) before the 40 minute fireworks show on a nice night along the Mississippi river.

I do wonder though... How did fireworks that come from China (at least originally) made it into our 4th of July celebration? I guess everything is made in China, so it doesn't surprise me.

Happy 4th to all of my American friends. Be safe!


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
DaveG #351381 07/04/11 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: DaveG
Thanks for sharing that Mike.


Dave, you do know that it's not really someone's birthday, right?


Always call the place you live a house. When you're old, everyone else will call it a home.
Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
nickbuol #351386 07/04/11 06:22 PM
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Have a great 4th of July all - living on a border town I will enjoy the fireworks with my grandson tonight


Brent Tombari
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Re: Happy independence day, tomorrow....
Brent #351391 07/04/11 07:17 PM
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You are a great American, Mike. I'm honored to know you.


bibere usque ad hilaritatem
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