by Delegate Mike McDermott
For every oppressed people who yearn for freedom, there is always a counting of the cost. Freedom is not free. A “Declaration of Independence” does not secure liberty, but it most certainly will secure the wrath of the tyrant who is deposed. This was certainly the case with King George.
Sadly, most Americans have never read our “Declaration of Independence”. They may know certain lines that are oft repeated, but many confuse our Constitution and the Declaration. In doing so, they miss the essence of our oppression and the need for our rebellion.
Together, the Founders declared certain truths that they held as “self evident” for all people to view and comprehend. They proclaimed as fact that “all men are created equal”. They understood that God is the giver of “rights” to people, and the best any government can do is recognize this truth.
Most of the Founders would pay dearly for making such a declaration. For stating that people were the sovereign of their lives and not the king was an act of treason. Many would die for signing their names to this document. Most lost their lands and saw their families exploited and made homeless. Our liberty cost them all they possessed.
A people can be held together by many things. Most will not last the test of time. There are vows and declarations that are sacred, oaths that we swear by, promises that we endeavor to keep; the American declaration of Independence is one of those God inspired commitments.
You may error in your thinking if you believe the price for freedom has already been paid. It must be paid by each generation of Americans. Our resolve as a people must remain as stalwart as that of the Founders lest a future tyrant catch us slumbering at the wheel of freedom.
It was always said to those who seemed on their way to making it big in this life: “Don’t forget where you came from!” Many a starlet and ball player go on and forget this admonition at their own peril. It was President Reagan who reminded us that, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
Today we celebrate our independence. May a tyrants boot never again find it’s place on the neck of any American, and may our people never forget the price of their freedom, so help us God!