written by an anonymous friend

I sometimes wish I had been around at that time to hear about the Declaration of Independence first hand, but wanted to share some observations made during our recent trip to Williamsburg Va.

We spent several hours in colonial Williamsburg and the Yorktown exhibits and I re-learned part of our history. The demonstrations of life then really hammered it home to me just how fortunate we are now because of the virtue and character of those that established America as the land of the free.

Like most, I'm not a historian and take for granted the liberty we still have, forgetting that it wasn't always this way. We spent more time enjoying our time together having fun rather than focusing on history, but that small amount of time was enough to bring forth some startling comparisons and sharp contrasts.

We visited the Yorktown battlefield with original cannon in place on both sides as well as directed at the James river and read the various bits of information placed along the paths and I  couldn't help but feel awed by how difficult and horrible war really was then. Today, the smart bombs and tanks and other war making material make cannon and muskets appear as toys. The overwhelming power of the British navy was defeated by colonists with a simple desire for freedom from the tyranny of British rule. The Yorktown Victory Monument is both magnificent and humbling at the same time. Names of French and Americans that died during the battle are inscribed there for posterity, but wasn't erected until over a hundred years after the battle was over. And we think government moves slow now!

The colonists' revolt over "taxation without representation" and the various exhibits gave me pause. The Yorktown Victory Center has a "timeline" on the railing of the path to a building on which various dates and events are written. It continues into the building where there are displays of life as it was then for soldiers and others as well and the continuing of the time line describing events leading up to and after the war that gave birth to America and its separation from Great Britain. The more I read, the more I regretted merely memorizing dates in US History in high school.

And the more I read, the more I realized just how similiar the situation is now.

It wasn't just taxation. There was the rule of law that was changed at the whim of King George. There was the British Army and Navy that virtually occupied the colonies.

There was corruption among the appointed British governors.

There were the promises of freedom for any slaves that joined the British, which amounted to seizure of property to the colonists. And there was what is now known as "gun control".

Today, "King George" sits on the white house throne and issues unchallenged legislation in the form of executive orders and presidential decision directives.

We, the people, are represented by what amounts to corrupt governors posing as Senators and Congressmen and so called courts of law that will not recognize that the sixteenth amendment to our Constitution was never properly ratified and is, in effect, nonexistent. Yet we as sheep being led to the slaughter, pay our taxes as if it were our duty. Gasoline tax, motel tax, airline tax, income tax, licensing fees (a tax), automobile tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax, sales tax, investment tax, (you pay a tax on the money you make ie:property and save some of it to draw interest so it can be taxed again?) internet tax, property tax, local tax, telephone tax and my local electric company taxes the amount of electricity we use!

I'm sure there are more, but are we not being taxed unduly without proper representation?

Slavery as it was practised then has been abolished and rightfully so, but I feel a more sinister form of slavery approaching all too fast. Some have predicted that there will be a ban on gun ownership before the year is out and if that happens, you can kiss whatever is left of your freedom goodbye. If those patriotic men and women of the American revolution had given up and laid down their arms, we might not be here today. I cannot describe the gratitude and respect I have gained for them after visiting Williamsburg and Yorktown.

We have a government that desires to enslave us and not enough Patrick Henrys to save us.

Are we truly independent?

Are we willing to line up and face off against tyranny?

Are we fairly represented under law?

I found out a few days ago after joining a credit union, that under federal law enacted in January, you cannot move your money on the phone between accounts more than six times a month. Why is that? Some kind of law that might affect drug dealers? First I heard of it, but why can't I do what I want to with my property as a law abiding citizen?

As with the Columbine tragedy, the majority has become ruled by the minority. Drug dealers are a minority. Insane (for whatever reason) criminals are a minority. Yet the majority will suffer. That is NOT fair representation under the law! When I was a child, I carried milk money to school as did most children then. In the current context of law, if enough bullies stole milk money, schools would make it illegal to bring milk money and therefore crime would be prevented. But if there were conceal and carry laws in effect, bullies would chill out. But then, the politicians could not pat themselves on the back and far be it for them  to lose face or the American people to feel safe.

We are NOT independent. The government has seen to it that we are dependent on them for virtually everything.

I believe there is a storm coming, but unlike the one Patrick Henry envisioned, the storm will overwhelm us. We have allowed God to be kicked out of school, out of government and out of most churches. We have allowed His foundation that those patriotic people fought for to be pulverized into sand. On the whole, we are no longer depedent on God, but on a godless government. If the people that built this country had given up their arms, they could not have defended themselves, much less their right to freedom of religion which is why they came here in the first place! Why should we be any different now?

Personally, I see very little difference in how things were then and how they are now, except that instead of overt displays of tyranny, we are subjected to subtle changes that are hardly noticed by the teeming masses. What bothers me the most after visiting Williamsburg and Yorktown and realizing what they went through, is just how powerless we are to stem the evil tide washing over us. If it's God's plan, all well and good, but I cannot help feeling that we are betraying those brave souls that risked and lost their very lives trying to preserve the elemental right to be free.

Happy Independence Day

Revolutionary yours,

Dedication to a cause!

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 Middleton.

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. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.

These were not wild-eyed, rabble rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged:

"For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. 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!

I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many people as you can. It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.