Los Angeles -- In this town of make believe freedom too can be an illusive mirage or the real deal. We tend to see only the journey's end and not the entire journey that brought us to where we are. A myopic point of view focused on the tip of the ice berg of success, forgetting more often than not, the cost it took for us to enjoy the fruits that so many who came before us labored to plant, nurture and harvest for our breakfast nook or mid day fruit bowl enthroned on the mantra of our own success in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains or on a winding road through the Pacific Palisades. The 4th of July is here. As we celebrate America's Birthday, my homeland and my country we will obviously be tending to family, friends, concerts, barbecues, a ball game if any are being played and just enjoying the noon day of summer,picnics along with the usual fireworks display, taking for granted the centuries it took for us to reach this envious pedestal in the human drama so many have risked life and family to reach. So a friend on Facebook sent the following reminder to me and all her Facebook buddies that not only gave me reason to pause but reason to be grateful for the high price paid for us to enjoy this beautiful day in the safety of our towns enjoying the fruit of our labor with family and friends. And folks it doesn't come cheap as we are witnessing with chagrin the violence in Syria and Egypt and possibly South Africa with the dawning sunset of its great iconic leader Nelson Mandela. For privacy sake I will not name the author but will place in quotes her historical commentary on the founding fathers and what a dear price many of them paid. Some of these names you may not recognize but they were all signatures to the Declaration of Independence that birthed our nation. Happy 4th and God Bless America always from sea to shining seas.
"4th Of July
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56
men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers 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 of the 56 fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their
fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and
large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated,
but they signed the Declaration of Independence
knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and
trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by
the British Navy. He sold his home and
properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British
that he was forced to move his family almost
constantly. He served in the Congress without pay,
and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions
were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall,
Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson,Jr., noted that
the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General
George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was
dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his
gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in
forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and
his children vanished.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday
and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the
price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free! We thank these early patriots,
as well as those patriots now fighting to KEEP our freedom!
It's time we get the word out that the Fourth of July has more
to it than beer, fireworks, picnics, and baseball games."
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