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Let Freedom Ring

by James Spurgeon, published

Throughout history, we remember names like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis deLafayette, Paul Revere and many more.  What we don't know are the names of countless others that laid down their lives for our independence.  They are the ones who's stories are not told... lost in time and forgotten.  They believed in a cause... a new concept that no one was certain would succeed, but still they pressed on.  They survived brutal winters, hot summers, and camp diseases.  They sacrificed everything to be free from tyranny.

For those we have forgotten, it wasn't about the creation of a republic.  It was about being able to choose their own destiny and make their own way in life.  What they helped to create was a nation with untold potential.  Whether they survived our war for independence or whether they fell fighting for the cause, their service was invaluable.

We mark this holiday 236-years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, though we still weren't free until the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  Our nation has changed a lot since then.  We have grown from struggling colonies to a vast nation comprised of a wide variety of people.  Upon our shores, people have looked to see new promise... the same as those soldiers did back then.  Without their sacrifices, none of us would be celebrating this day and our lives would be different.

With all the pomp and ceremony that even our Founding Fathers recognized we would be having, we must not forget these long forgotten unknown men and what they fought for.  It beats within every one of us and should never be taken for granted.  Even now, somewhere in this world, there are people fighting for their independence... fighting for their freedom from tyranny.  What we fought for all those years ago still echos throughout the globe.  People want the freedom to determine their own destinies.  It is that very freedom that always comes with a high price, but we cannot let that deter us or anyone else.  The very ideals that once washed over our people should echo to every people in every corner of this planet.  From every mountain top, through every plain, across every ocean... freedom shall ring.  And while we celebrate the names we have been taught to remember, let us also remember those that we don't.  Let us remember our founding principles and know that people around the world are fighting for them this very day because even as we fade away, the idea still lives on.  May the sun shine upon them as it did us on July 4, 1776.

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." Declaration of Independence~ 

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