Thursday, July 04, 2013

The 4th of July

Gettysburg, Independence Day, 1863 (Photo/History Channel)

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.” 
 — John Adams

If I may borrow phraseology from Bill Paxton, today we celebrate our Independence Day. The freedom that we so casually barter away for a false sense of security, for a libertine lifestyle under the benevolent gaze of Big Brother, for the release from our personal responsibilities, was paid for in part by the men in that iconic picture...plain dirt farmers, immigrants from Germany, Ireland and the dregs of the northern cities, all too poor to buy their way out of the great bloodletting, who gave their last full measure of devotion on a field in Pennsylvania 150 years ago.

Family history tells me that my ancestors, who had not all shed the "Mac" in front of "Bane," were not at Gettysburg. Instead, they marched under St. Andrew's Cross with the Army of Tennessee to Georgia and the great failing battles against Sherman, retreating on foot, often barefoot, through the early winter back to Tennessee to give their last full measure of devotion against the fortified Union positions south of Nashville, in Franklin, in the bloodiest 4 hours of a bloody war.

So many installments many battlefields in so many many mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers in mourning...and yet...

...what difference does it make? Five words that may come to define our era.

What difference does it make? That, my friends, is what we as Americans — as the people who carry the DNA of the Founder's dream — must decide.

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
— Patrick Henry

Today we celebrate our Independence Day.


Anonymous said...

"Today we celebrate our Independence Day."

We should being in mourning for that Independence which is now nothing but a meaningless word in a nationthat regulates everything from how much ammo your guns can hold to the allowable size of your soda, including how much water you are allowed to use to flush a turd.
Tom Bogan
Laconia NH

Anonymous said...

It was Bill Pullman, not Bill Paxton.

Michael Bane said...

Same same, but different!

nj larry said...

Watching the CSPAN coverage all day on this past weekend. Then comes the formal Park Service ceremony and keynote speaker: Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Gettysburg, where men fought and died. Where 51 THOUSAND casualties marked their place with blood. Good ole Doris gets up, AT THE VERY SAME SITE MEN DIED, and says it was for the gay community. wtf?

Warning - don't watch if you have just finished dinner.

Breitbart was the only media outlet to write about it.

Mike V. said...

My great-great-great grandpappy was with the 4th Tennessee (US). Its possible that our ancestors faced each other through rifle sights at some time. Hope yours survived. Mine did and died in Taos NM in 1912.

Mike V. said...

my great great great grandpappy was with the 4th Tennessee (US). Its possible our ancestors faced each other through rifle sights at some time or another. Hope your ancestor survived. Mine did and died in Taos NM in the early 1900s.

DamDoc said...

I heard ahead of time that ole' Doris, LBJ's side squeeze (what more needs to be known!), was going to speak... I know nothing good could come of it. We are in a time where half the people get and celebrate the American experiment, and the other half are so arrogant, that they think they can hope and change for a version that does not demand self reliance, sacrifice and integrity, because it is not fair to expect that from anybody. Despite the current cold civil war, Happy Independence Day.