The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence and Freedom

John Hancock, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and all the others who later signed the document that was first approved on July 4, 1776. Think for a minute about the risk the signers of the Declaration of Independence took. They knew that the English would view this act as treason. They knew that if caught they would be hanged. They knew that this document would plunge the nation into war and that soldiers and other Americans would die. These risks had to be a heavy psychological burden, and yet they found the courage within themselves to take this momentous step.

They signed.

As John Adams said, "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
On this day of barbeque, burgers, baked beans, slaw, chips, cokes, and beer, on this day of fellowship with friends and family, on this day of firework displays and celebration, on this day of Independence, on this day of freedom, we should all remember what the Declaration meant then and now and how much human courage it took to sign it.

When I started thinking about this post, I also remembered American Poet Walt Whitman who said, "The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people."

Ordinarily, my fellow bloggers might not take too kindly to being called "common," but in the sense that Whitman meant, and in the sense of the Declaration, we are "common citizens." (But we are not subjects. Don't tread on us!) 

Adams challenged Americans to use their freedom to "dare to read, think, speak, and write." Thanks to the risk that he and the other founders took, bloggers are free to do that every day. July 4th is no exception.

To celebrate this great holiday, Barry the Barbarian posts an excellent article which posits that the American Declaration of Independence was a "profoundly American" and spiritual document.

Andy has a beautiful picture of a silhouetted cross on the American flag created by light shining through.

Buck posts the complete Declaration of Independence.

Paul at mean ol' meany points out that the original Declaration "declared our independence from an oppressive regime in England," but that today we seem hellbent on letting our government enslave us. He also has lots and lots of good links.

My own contribution today is a video remembering and honoring our military. Once the Declaration of Independence was signed and sent to England, the founders knew war with England would follow.

Adopting the Declaring of Independence on July 4, 1776, meant immediately building an army to protect the fledgling independent and free country from the invading British.

Keeping that independence and freedom over the years has required the use of military force. So as we celebrate today, July 4, 2010, and remember that precious document and those courageous founders, let's also remember the soldiers, airmen, and sailors who put their lives on the line today to protect that freedom and independence that we cherish and exercise daily.


  1. Dangit, Dan! I feel like Briscoe Darling when Charlene sang "Keep your money in your shoe, so it don't get wet."...

    That one made me cry! Seriously.

    Dan, I have been in enormous crowds at military graduations (When #1 & #3 sons completed basic training). It was all quite moving.

    But, when #1 son graduated from Cryptology School at Goodfellow AFB, Pam and I made the trek to San Angelo, TX for it. We had not seen him in a WAY too long time, and it was only a 10 hour drive.

    In that auditorium where the graduation took place, there could not have been any more than 50 of us observing it. Dan, I kid you not...EVERY high ranking officer on The Base was there. And EVERY ONE OF THEM showed unbelievable respect to this little class of 10 graduates from Cryptology School.

    It was so "moving" that I cried through most of it. I did manage to take some pictures through blurry eyes. The Commander at Goodfellow made a point to walk through the auditorium, and greet every visitor personally.

    He asked each visitor where we were from, and who our particular graduate was.

    Crud...I'm crying as I write this.

    He spent MUCH time with each of the graduates, congratulating them, etc.

    As I sat there trying to soak all of that in, I was just reminded of the truth that there really are some good young people left in this selfish old American world. There are young people that love OUR AMERICA, and are willing to take a risk to preserve it.

    Man...I rambled on a long time here.

    Thanks for that video, Dan. Seriously. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the link, Dan. I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day.

  3. Andy, thanks for the kind words. And I think you're right. There are many decent young people out there. I just hope there's enough of them! By the way, did you see the new logo for the US cryptology command on yahoo today? Check out that story.

  4. Barry, I hope you had a great Independence day too.