The first Revolutionary Battle at Lexington and Concord occurred on April eighteenth, 1775. The North Bridge fighting represented the first shots by Americans acting under orders, the first British deaths, and the first time the British retreated from the Colonists, the Americans. This was the incident that did detonate, explode, into the Revolutionary War and the eventual independence of the new country, the United States of America.
The American Colonists wanted freedom from the control of Great Britain … and so it began.
According to Merriam-Webster, freedom means: the quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: the quality or state of being exempt or released from something onerous.
Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
What do we remember from our history books, the biographies we’ve read, the more recent stories we’ve been told by family members that lived, survived, and watched others die for their country, our country, for each and every one of us, collectively, and individually? In all honesty, not much. Some history buffs can name every battle, skirmish, victory, defeat, in the war or wars in which they have a particular interest. Most of us, sadly, remember little from our school days.
George Santayana said,”Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The First sentence of the second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
From 1776, we Americans have fought for our lives, our liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whatever happy is to the individual, we want the opportunity to pursue that condition.
The first amendment to our Constitution gave citizens the right to choose their own religion, or to choose no religion at all. This freedom of religion guaranteed the government could not interfere with a citizens right to choose.
Freedom is a precious concept, a valuable possession, one worth giving one’s life; so many Americans have done just that. We are indebted to each and every one of them, their parents, wives, children, and grandchildren. With freedom comes responsibilities.
These say it much better than I ever could.
My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson
Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. ~John A. Logan
Freedom is never free. ~Author Unknown
With every civil right there has to be a corresponding civil obligation. ~Edison Haines
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. ~Abigail Van Buren
“I must do something” always solves more problems than “Something must be done.” ~Author Unknown
We need to restore the full meaning of that old word, duty. It is the other side of rights. ~Pearl Buck
We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities. ~Bill Maher
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick
On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! ~Thomas William Parsons
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed — else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. ~Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler
We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. ~Felix Frankfurter
Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. ~D.H. Lawrence
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. ~James Allen
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
My Country, ‘Tis of Thee
Author: Samuel Francis Smith 1832
My Country tis of Thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our father’s God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
to explode or cause something to explode