Reflections on America's Birthday

For two hundred and thirty one years the Republic has weathered wars, epidemics, hostile neighbors, worldwide conflicts, economic disasters, internal struggles and competing ideologies. Its birth was a long struggle for independence against the strongest and most advanced military in the world. In the War of 1812 its capitol was burned to the ground.

It suffered the growing pains of expansionism against the hostile natives as well as unfriendly claims and competition by Spain, France, Great Britain and Mexico. It experienced a tragic and horribly bloody civil war that helped to define the idea of federalism at the expense of states rights and ended once and for all the national shame of slavery. It endured the rigors of industrialization and eventually emerged as the most technologically advanced nation the world had ever seen.

The US weathered the stock market collapse and a national drought that sent tens of millions into poverty and many thousands into starvation. And it emerged from its humble origins to proclaim ‘manifest destiny’ and to smash the various empires and ideologies of the Spanish Empire, German imperialism, Japanese militarism, Italian fascism, the horrors of Nazism and eventually the corrupt ideology of Soviet communism. Its armies have faced the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Spanish, the Germans, the Italians, the Japanese, the North Koreans, the Vietnamese, and the petty tyrants of dozens of smaller countries and hot spots. Today it faces the international enemy of Islamic fascism, jihadism and fundamentalism.

America has suffered imperfections, made mistakes and miscalculations. For nations, like people, all suffer shortfalls. But through it all the United States has shown the world the way. It has freed more people from tyranny, been more generous monetarily, eliminated more evil, created more democracy and hope, championed more human rights and been a shining example of what can be right and true than any other nation or people has ever done in the history of the world. It gave women more rights than they had ever had. It ended the evil of slavery and championed the revolutionary ideals that all men are equal before God. This country has provided more opportunity, more hope, more peace, more wealth and more freedom than any other has even dreamed.

America continues to struggle forward into a new century. It faces many challenges and hurdles. Multiculturism and Political Correctness, massive legal and illegal immigration, globalism, and abandonment of traditional morality and family are all controversies that it must face. As the worlds only Superpower it must face the evils that arise around the globe, weather the neverending naysayers who attack its predomince in Western Civilization, deal with a resurgent Russia as well as a Red China that is flexing its political, military and economic muscle for the first time.

The Republic faces many problems but we must have faith in its people, its history, its ideals, and its culture. It has overcome much in its two centuries plus of existence and it will have much to overcome in the next two centuries to come. It still remains that shining city on the hill and I thank God everyday that I live in this country and am eternally proud to call myself an American.

On every Independence Day take the time to appreciate the most powerful and promising country that has ever existed and be thankful for the freedoms that we still have the right to exercise on a daily basis. The right to assemble, the right to worship, and the right to debate and criticize as we do right here on Watchblog. The right to raise your children as you see fit, the right to bear arms to protect your family and community, and the right to own property and a home. These simple things we often take for granted but the great mass of humanity in the world still cannot exercise the valued rights that we are guaranteed in the United States of America.

Happy Birthday USA!

Posted by David M. Huntwork at July 5, 2007 2:32 AM
Comments
Comment #224869

“…growing pains of expansionism…”=genocide

“manefest destiny” =illegal war of agression on Mexico and the Philippines

“petty tyrants” installed and supported as many we fought ie.The Shah,Saddam Husain,Noriega,Pinochet etc.

“most technologically advanced…”=Japan

America has suffered imperfections,made mistakes…” correct

The Republic faces many problems but we must have faith in its people,its history,its ideals,and its culture. also correct but a healthy dose of realism would serve us well lest we repeat the mistakes of the past.

Posted by: BillS at July 5, 2007 10:49 AM
Comment #224886

However imperfect this country is, it’s my country, and I love it very much. After all these years, I still find astounding our Founding documents. Never before have such ennobling concepts been codified into a form of government.

When I criticize our government, or lament how imperfectly we serve our Founding ideals, I do not to it out of hatred. I do it out of an awareness of how far we still must go in our striving for a “more perfect Union.” I also think it does a disservice to turn a blind eye to our history and to our present policies. If we delude ourselves we do not serve our country or humanity. Too often “patriotism” is used as an excuse for blindness.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 5, 2007 1:28 PM
Comment #224892

Huntwork said: “The Republic faces many problems but we must have faith in its people, its history, its ideals, and its culture.”

First, we have a Democratic Republic founded in the rule of law, not the whims of politicians, kings, or oligarchs, as defined by our U.S. Constitution and its subsequent amendments, interpretations, and legislations which emanated from it. What a gross mischaracterization of American government to call it simply a Republic.

The last great historical Republic lasted almost 800 years before crumbling under the weight of its corruptions, abandonment of rule by public consent, and gratuitous faith in its might and infinite survivability. That Republic was the Roman Empire.

Lest we follow Rome’s path toward demise, we would be wise to marry our love for our nation with critical education and evaluation of our political and institutional weaknesses and foibles, and allow our love to move us to amend those weaknesses and foibles, rather than retreat into blissful consumerism and willful ignorance fostered by blind uncritical patriotism, which shall surely weaken the mortar of our society’s bricks, just as surely as it eroded the integrity of the Roman Empire.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2007 1:54 PM
Comment #224915

To all here:

This is my final posting on any subject on WatchBolg. I want to thank David for allowing me to speak my piece from time to time, even though I rarely agreed with him and others.

My health has brought me to a point that I have only a few months to live. I am disolving my 50 years of research in 15 four drawer file cabinets to various organizations and higher level educational institutions.

With that said, I would encourage each and every one of you to read the Declaration of Independence entirely and then research the signatories all 56 of them and see what happened to them after they placed more on the line than any of us can or will. Then if you really believe what the document says, then make a copy and sign it, then live it. I did that several years ago. And even though it must be lived with different circumstances today, I have made every effort to make it one of my life’s priorities

Follow that up with Patrick Henry’s speach at St. John’s Church in Richmond, VA concerning the perilous times the colonies faced. Most of us are familiar with “give me liberty or give me death”, but the statements leading up to that conclusion are very important to the conclusion. I challenge you to read it.

Thank you all, no matter what your own belief structure and system is, for allowing me to converse with you in this manner.

May God richly bless all of you.

Posted by: tomhumes at July 5, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #224918

And God bless you too Tom.
You’re a pretty good ol boy and I’ve enjoyed your participation here.

Posted by: kctim at July 5, 2007 4:02 PM
Comment #224923

Thank you, tom. May Buddha’s enlightenment remove the shadows from your path, always.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. — Buddha
Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2007 4:32 PM
Comment #224961

I may be biased because I am from Massachusetts, but I personally feel April 19 (Patriot’s Day) is the real birthday of our nation.

Many people over the past 230+ years have died fighting for their country, but I think fighting and dieing for a country still not born takes even more bravery.

I also think Americans should thank the Spanish and especially the French for their invaluable aid in our fight for independence.

This is a great nation and undeniably the best to live in. 30 years ago it was unquestionably the free world’s leader. Today it is slipping behind many nations in Europe and Asia. It is today that America must seize the opportunity to regain her former throne.

Posted by: Warren P at July 5, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #224973

Goodbye Tom

I will miss your postings. Go with God.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #224994

Well said, Warren P.

Let’s begin by removing governance by the wealthy special interests and restoring governance by representatives of the American people and our nation’s future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2007 1:35 AM
Comment #225079

Tom,
go in peace. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas. I am sad this is your last post, but please remember, we have learned much from you, and will carry on that knowledge- thus you will live long after the body surrenders.
God Speed.

As you suggested, here is the information regarding what happened to those men who signed our Declaration of Independence.
================================================

4th of July

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five were imprisoned 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.

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.

Posted by: Linda H. at July 6, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #225087

For me it’s important to remember as much what they didn’t commit us to, as what they did. They didn’t commit us to doggishly and slavishly follow in their footsteps, but rather allowed us the ability to interpret and reinterpret things.

The heart, experts are beginning to find out, is an organ that functions with multiple rhythms working through it at once, competing, interacting. Because of this, no one part of the heart in a healthy person is forced to beat again and again. Rather, the work is well spread. This is for the best, as a cramp in the heart is what we call a heart attack.

America’s heart beats like that. Instead of relying on one group of people, one race, one language, one anything, it depends on a diversity of influences and ideas. America’s heart beats with many rhythms, and because of that, it will have a long life.

I know, it’s a bit cheesy, but I believe it to be the truth. America’s best defense is that it is not so dependent on one part of itself that the normal rise and fall of different cultures within it threatens its very existence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2007 5:52 PM
Comment #225099

Linda H., you inadvertently implied a monumental difference between then and now. How many lawyers, jurists, and wealthy business and landowners today would sign their own death warrants or volunteer to fight for this country’s liberty? Today, that is a poor person’s job, to protect the wealth and property of the wealthy and their own freedom and liberties as well.

I haven’t read of many Generals, Admirals, or full bird Colonels killed in Iraq, either come to think of it. Guess they have accrued to much wealth to be put in harm’s way. Not many General George Washington’s in this modern all Volunteer Army, apparently. Something got turned upside down in the last couple hundred years. In the 18th century it was the poor and the wealthy with everything to lose and protect who fought side by side. Don’t think that could happen today. There are exceptions to generalization, but, I just can’t picture Bill Gates, Turner, Bill Clinton, or Dick Cheney volunteering to fight in combat for America rather than simply moving residence to France or England instead if push came to shove.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2007 7:46 PM
Comment #225119

You are totally correct, David.

And you raised an interesting point. It is amazing how things seem to have gone topsy-turvy over the past couple of hundred years or so.

Perhaps we should be sending those very persons into Iraq. I wonder how long Bush, Cheney, et.al. (and all the Generals who plan the maneuvers) would do if they actually had to fight the fight.

Bet they’d think twice - maybe even three times, if they actually had to fight the blooming things.

Posted by: Linda H. at July 6, 2007 11:03 PM
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