Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

It is fitting to launch this blog on July 4th, as we celebrate the birth of this nation.

The United States exists because a few brave men were willing to risk their lives for the notion of liberty. As we look back, it’s easy to forget that when those 56 mensigned the Declaration of Independence, they had no assurance of success. They issued a challenge to the world’s greatest power. Many in the colonies thought their cause futile. They lacked the military power to back up their claim of independence and they signed knowing that failure would result in imprisonment or death.

Yet they signed anyway. They signed not for personal gain. They signed not because they stood to benefit in some monetary way. They signed not to gain land or power.They signed because they believed in an idea. They believed that people should live free.

And they were willing to die for that idea.

Patrick Henry summed up the courage and conviction of those men:

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Today we face an equally formidable challenge to our freedom. Islamic extremists seek to bind the entire world by their law. Those who refuse to submit, they brand infidels worthy only of death. They’ve struck us at home and they continue to strike at us in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will not stop until they succeed in their stated goals…or until we stop them.

Freedom is their enemy. Democracy is a thorn in their side. Liberty is their destruction. They flourish only when they can subjugate the people.

We stand in their way and that is why they hate us.

Many today cry, “Peace, peace!” We all desire peace, but evil does not compromise. Evil does not negotiate. Evil does not go away.

The signers of the Declaration were willing to lay their lives on the line for the notion of liberty. Today, the men and women in out military risk their lives for the liberty of the Iraqi and Afghan people and not only theirs, but ultimately ours as well. The question becomes, do we as a nation have the fortitude to stand with them?

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