July 4th Oration Notes

July 4, 2004

It is said, “A man’s patriotism is not measured by the size of the flag he flies.”

Today let’s consider some of the great men who brought forth this great nation, then
consider what things we might do to preserve liberty.

Let’s do a little exercise. Voting statistics illustrated.
________________________________________

One important event in our history was the Declaration of Independence, the reason we celebrate every 4th of July.

55 men signed the Declaration of Independence.

It had taken many months of debate to write.

One of the men most influential in its adoption was John Adams. (Put book up.)

In this picture he has sideburns long enough to be in style in GQ today, but just a little
too bushy.

What does the Declaration say? We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
…(created equal),
that they are endowed…by
whom (by their Creator)
with certain unalienable
rights.
That among these are …
(life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.)
It is to secure these rights that governments are made and they get their powers from the consent of the governed.

This was our complaint with the British and King George III. They made the government and imposed it on us without our consent!

So we said in here that we are going to be free, independent of Britain. We declared our independence.

The closing lines read, “With a firm reliance on the protection of diving Providence, we
mutually pledge to each other our lives, our … (fortunes), and…(our sacred honor).

These men, and their wives, knew well what they were risking by signing.

Here is where John Hancock signed. His name is the biggest. He said he wanted King George to be able to read it without his spectacles.

Six weeks after passing the Declaration, the British attacked in New York. It was their
30,000 against about half that many on our side. They had thirty ships; we had none. 1,000 of our men were killed, wounded or captured. British losses were about 400. Two days later, in the dark and in the rain, the American army escaped across the river, rowed by many volunteer fishermen.

Two weeks later the British commander sent a note to Philadelphia asking for some
Congressmen to come talk to him. Franklin, Rutledge, and Adams went. They had a cordial meal, then got into discussion. Admiral Howe asked, “Is there no way of treading back this step of independency?”

He further said he was not talking to the three as members of Congress because Congress was not acknowledged by the King. He considered them men of great ability and influence, private persons and British subjects.

Adams objected. “You may consider me in any character which would be agreeable to your lordship, except that of a British subject.” He said he was determined “not to depart from the idea of independency.” Admiral Howe turned to the
other two: “Mr. Adams is a decided character,” with a gloomy emphasis on the word decided. Years afterward, Adams would better understand the gloomy look on Howe’s face, when he learned that before leaving London, Howe had been given a list of those American rebels who were to be granted pardons if peace could be
arranged. John Adams was not on the list. He was to hang.

Such were the risks these signers entered.The meeting ended without
agreement.

John Adams left behind a profitable law practice, making, as a member of Congress the same wages as a farm laborer. And we must not forget the women of the
Revolution. John’s wife, Abigail, was farming and raising their children alone near Boston, while John spent years in Philadelphia in Congress. They exchanged many tender letters. Her sacrifice for this country matched his.

Among the other signers, Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. So did Morris and Livingston. Thomas Nelson had a beautiful home in Yorktown. The British captured it and used it as a headquarters. As the British approached, Nelson stood beside George Washington. Nelson gave him the go ahead to open fire. The home was completely destroyed. Nelson died bankrupt.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside while she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and 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.

Truly they made great sacrifices.

We can support liberty by:
serving on juries,
voting,
testifying in the legislature,
writing and calling elected representatives,
running for office,
assisting campaigns.

We can also keep our marriages and families strong through love, prayer and sacrifice, for strong families and righteous people, people reliant on divine
Providence, are what make this nation strong.

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