The Cost of Freedom…

In just a few days, Americans across the land will celebrate the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It will be a day for family picnics, parades, and fireworks!

John Adams, an ardent supporter of American independence, wrote to his wife, Abigail, predicting the 4th of July would be celebrated “by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival…It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

While scores of Americans celebrate Independence Day just as Adams predicted, all too many fail to grasp the true meaning of this day and the high cost paid by the signers of our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Consider the hardships faced by these 56 men. Five 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 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, and nine were farmers or large plantation owners. They were men of means and well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well the penalty would be death if they were captured.

These men were not wild-eyed radicals, but rather men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to declare our independence from Great Britain.

John Adams on his deathbed asked this question to future generations of Americans: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”

I encourage you to take time this 4th of July to thank these patriots. I urge you to rededicate yourself to the preservation of our precious freedoms so they can be passed on to future generations.

Freedom is never Free. It is purchased by the blood of patriots.