This Independence Day, let’s remember that freedom isn’t free. Those that signed the Declaration of Independence knew it, and centuries later President Ronald Reagan still knew it and warned Americans with these words…
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Freedom fighter, General John Stark shouted “Tonight the American flag floats over yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow!” to rally his troops as he headed into battle at Bennington during the Revolutionary War. Molly Stark did not become a widow that night, and did what she could, as a mother of ten, for the cause of freedom. She opened her home to nurse patriot soldiers.
General John Stark, years later wrote a toast for an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington, held July 31, 1809. He became ill just prior to the reunion and was unable to attend, but he sent his toast by letter which was “Live Free or Die: Death is not the worst of evils.” He is credited with what became New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live Free or Die.”
Those that signed their John Hancock (one literally did!) on the document declaring independence from despotic leadership in July of 1776, knew that their lives, fortunes and sacred honor were truly at risk. They knew that a vast ocean would not protect them and their families from the wrath of King George of Great Britain, who demanded absolute allegiance.
Richard Stockton one of the signers from New Jersey understood the grave danger he put himself and his family in, and knew freedom would not be free. He was right. Four months after signing his name on the Declaration of Independence he was imprisoned.
Stockton had been moving his family to safety because the British were following George Washington and his army into New Jersey after the Battle of Long Island, when a treacherous neighbor of the friend whose home he had moved his family to lead a band of loyalists to Richard Stockton. They dragged Stockton from his bed and marched him improperly clothed (only a nightshirt and breeches) in freezing weather to a common jail in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Later he was moved to Provost prison in New York City, which was notorious for its harsh conditions. It is estimated that about three times as many prisoners died in the prisons and prison ships of New York City, as soldiers in combat during the Revolutionary War years.
After five weeks of being locked in irons and nearly starved, Stockton was released. The condition of his release was that he was not to engage in American affairs during the fight for freedom. His health was compromised to such an extent, that it is doubtful he could have contributed much on the battlefield. His home had been plundered of his furniture and livestock. His extensive library had been destroyed. His monetary wealth was also gone as he had donated most of it to the cause. He died before the Revolutionary War ended in 1781 at the age of 51. Richard Stockton is among those we should remember for their bravery and great sacrifice that was necessary to attain our freedom.
This Independence Day, and every day, let’s take some time to remember some of those that sacrificed so much for freedom. Let’s heed President Reagan’s warning and teach the next generations the value of individual freedom, so they won’t lose it. Let’s teach them about the brave men and women that knew freedom wasn’t free, yet still acted to gain it. Let’s teach them that preserving freedom is not always easy, but that once freedom is lost it is even more difficult to regain.
Happy Independence Day!
Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”. Read her blog series “Statues: The People They Salute” and visit the Facebook Page.
I have become totally disgusted (and disheartened) by those who keep dredging up what “mistakes” were supposedly made 235 years ago at the founding of our nation and in the past – even up until today. From what I’ve read, none of you snowflakes would stand up for our country if needed and, heaven help us, if asked to volunteer. I’m calling BS on the whole lot of you, sure morals have changed and many of the things that were acceptable “back then” are not today…but many things that were considered immoral back then are being shoved in our faces today – which, believe it or not, buttercup, is repugnant to many of us who are approaching or have reached our “three score and ten”. So, quit asking what your country can do for you and, in the words of JFK, “ask what you can do for your country” or STFU. If I live to be 85, and I’m about 90% of the way there, I will have given a tenth of my life in military service. While I can’t recommend the military to others right now thanks to the “woke” indoctrination being promoted, I’m thankful for those who do choose to serve.
And, let’s remember the famous and merely familiar, all of whom have something in common, people like Ted Nugent, Donald J. Trump,Rush Limbaugh, Bruce Springsteen, William J. Clinton, Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali), Albert Einstein, John Wayne, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliana, Bill O’Reilly, Joseph R. Biden…to name a few.
What do they all have in common this Independence Day? They were all Draft Dodgers—college deferrments, rushed to get married, ran off to Europe on missionary duties, and stuff.
Today’s US citizens do not know their history. They don’t realize how this country was set up and why. I was just reading an excellent book called Rediscovering America by Scott Powell. It should be required reading for all schools.
Don’t tell the liberal, progressive, leftist that freedom isn’t free, they’ll throw a fit and riot, burning down everything in sight.
Those who choose to ignore the fact that many hundreds of thousands of patriots have suffered and died for us to have our precious liberties and freedoms are painfully out of touch with the life blood of our country. Their ignorance and stupidity make it much easier for this country to be destroyed by evil forces.
I heard something the other night which I hadn’t thought of but was correct. When our boys came back from Vietnam, the socialist crowd called them “baby killers.” Those same people and their spawn are now actually baby killers through their support and financing of abortion!
Many Lives lost since the Rev War to date for Freedom
Excellent reminder that is necessary for so many Americans today Diana. Sadly, a very large part of of our population apparently needs a reminder that if WE don’t stand up for our own rights and freedoms, there are many out there that would be happy to strip away all those rights and freedoms from the American people. Have a glorious 4th of July and remember why we celebrate the day!
Happy Independence Day!