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Take a moment and think about freedom.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?        

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. 

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.  They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?                      

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.                          

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.                    

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.                      

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.          

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.                        

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.      

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.                          

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.                              

Remember: freedom is never free!                    

I hope you will show your support by remembering this story and knowing that the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.  

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Reader Comments (3)

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonas

Is it July 4th already? Man...its seems like just a minute ago it was almost Thanksgiving...;-)

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Daigon

I do and will remember.

I graduated High School in 1967, the middle of the Viet Nam war, served four years ... luckily only one in South-East Asia ... non-combat.

So you know where I'm coming from when I say these TSA searches at airports are a travesty against the US Constitution ... the 4th amendment more specifically. These searches betray every person who has defended this nation. These searches show that some of us are willing to trade liberty for (a tiny bit more) security.



November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob Shaver

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