Are Free by Jeff Jackson posted 07/04/03
Independence and Liberty are not independent of the desire of man to maintain them. But man's is not the only hand at work in the preservation. Two hundred and twenty seven years ago our forefathers pledged all that they had in terms of their lives, fortunes and sacred honor and they did so under the "protection of divine Providence" of a higher being from which they drew inspiration.
However, the hand of God will only take man so far as man is willing to take himself. Ultimately it is our responsibility as free men to maintain that which divine providence has granted unto us. Our Liberty and our other unalienable rights and our independence while inspired, propelled and preserved by God required and to this day still requires the hand of man to maintain.
Many have not returned from the path traveled to freedom. It is a somber reminder for our path to and our continuing journey with Liberty has claimed many who have lost their lives, their fortunes or even both along the journey. But no man that has even fought to keep us upon the path has ever lost their sacred honor. Ultimately that is the one thing that can never be forcibly taken from any man; his honor. Other men and even governments can take life and treasure but our honor is only within us and will remain until the day that we as men choose to let it go.
And while many have given their lives their sacrifice has allowed others to carry on. Even those that do not appreciate the sacrifice benefit.
And while many have given their worldly fortunes they retain the greatest fortune of all; the fortune of the grace of God and his divine providence.
For some the 4th of July is a day off from the rigors of work. For others it is a day for family. For others it is a day to remember our founding.
But no matter what the 4th of July means to us we must remember that the fight for Independence and Liberty are never truly won; the journey down the path never fully completed. The 4th of July marks a day to remember that the continued journey down the path of freedom requires a continued commitment from all free men and pledge of life, fortune and honor to be successful. And it also requires a continued commitment to recognizing that our rights stem from a higher source than the will or hand of man. They are immutable. They are unalienable. Ultimately they are divine.
For we still "hold these truths to be self evident" to this day. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights". And "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." And that we still do so while "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world".
We are not to be complacent less we stray from freedom's path. And to maintain our course will take more life, fortune and honor than some are willing to sacrifice. But men among men will rise and sacrifice as they have for over two hundred years even as others would wilt and fade. Some of present day may look upon them with disdain. History will regard them as the corner stone of our continued success.
We are free. We are independent.
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