Friday, July 3, 2009

Fathering A Nation

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As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow, I thought I would give tribute to the Founding Fathers of this great nation. A group of men, who had everything to lose and were willing to put it on the all on the line in order to gain freedom and independence.

These were prominent business men, landowners and farmers. They knew they were not only putting their lives on the line, but their families livelihoods also. Fully aware that if they failed in this endeavor they would surely hang. For they were committing the largest act of High Treason against the King.

These men were passionate about Freedom, Independence and about their ideas of how to accomplish that task. Ideas that they vigorously and passionately disagreed with each other about. There were various strong personalities in the rooms of Independence hall and to say they didn't get along is a gross understatement. On more than one occasion they came incredibly close to blows with one another.

However, they knew the importance of the work at hand. They were able to set aside personalities in favor of principles. They understood what was at stake. In the words of Benjamin Franklin "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately".

The fruits of the labor of some of the greatest minds ever assembled in one room, the sacrifices they made and the risks they took Fathered a new Republic. A Republic of, by and for the people. A republic that I am honored and blessed to be a part of. For you and I have inherited this great treasure of Freedom and you and I now assume the responsibility to care for and preserve the Union that many have died to protect from enemies both foreign and domestic.

Check out this excerpt of any essay on the responsibilities that lie in the hands of all Americans:

What it means to me to be American seems too big and overwhelming to put into words. For me it means so much. I feel like hit the lottery by being born in this country. It means Freedom. And with that freedom comes responsibility.

I have the freedom and rights to pursue my own happiness. My choices and my life are my own. Success or failure is my own, without the interference from or fear of my government. I may speak my mind, protect my family and worship my God. I have a voice in my government.

I have a profound admiration for thousands of men and women who are willing to die to protect these freedoms for me, even if I am total jerkwad.
Now onto responsibilities.
  • I have the responsibility of my own life in my hands. I can blame no one else for my failings or short comings.
  • I have the responsibility to vote, no matter how I feel about the candidates.
  • I have the responsibility to God, the God who granted me the inalienable rights mentioned in our constitution, to care for my fellow man and those less fortunate than myself(there are many ways to do this outside of government).
  • I have the responsibility to contribute to society in a positive way.
  • I have the responsibility to teach my children the ideals and history of this great nation and to teach them to honor and live up to those ideals so that those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for my children have not done so in vein.
All of these statements can not even begin to do justice to the pride and emotion that wells up inside of me when I think about what it means to me to be an American, nor does it do justice to my gratitude to those who have gone before me to make these freedoms possible.

Can you guess the author? That was written by none other than ME. That is an excerpt that I decided to recycle from a post I wrote on July 4th of last year.

I wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day*. I also invite you to leave your thoughts on what being an American means to you, or write your own post and leave me a link.

*Little known trivia tidbit ~ We celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence as our nations birthday on July 4th, but the signing actually took place on July 2, 1776. Then the document had to go out to the printer to make and enlarged copy to hang in the town square. It was returned from the printer and posted in the square on July 4, 1776.

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23 comments:

BellaDaddy said...

Cool post! Happy 4th!

PJ Mullen said...

So true about how fortunate we are to be citizens of this country. I lived in Moscow for six months when my college internship turned into a full time job during my senior year. Even though they had become capitalist there was still a great deal remaining from their last days of socialist (this was '95). I am very thankful to have the rights I do and appreciate the fact that I have the freedom to do raise my child in the manner I deem fit and even get to blog about it all. I did not know that about the second, next year I smell block party! A very happy 4th of July to you and your family.

OhCaptain said...

Happy Independence Day to you!

For me, being an American is honor the vision of our founding fathers and striving to live in a country where freedom and liberty are at the core of our beliefs.

Liberty and justice for ALL.

Tom said...

I love this country. I too feel incredibly blessed to have been born here, to enjoy this country's rights and privileges and bounty.

My annoyance is aimed at those who don't know what they have here, who are so eager to leave because they don't agree with some real or imagined political or social paradigm. In many other countries, they would be vilified, arrested or executed for expressing such opinions.

You put it well: as Americans, we have rights, and we have responsibilities. I for one want to sustain this country and all that it stands for.

JonnyTam13 said...

Happy Independence Day! You certainly captured what it means to be an American. I just wish that all Americans would feel the same way

The Microblogologist said...

Your essay should be required reading, you put it all so well! Have a wonderful 4th in Weaselville!

surprised mom said...

Great post! I think you've said it perfectly. I am grateful for having been born in this country. A friend of mine, who's parents were born in a country who had been turmoil for most of its existence, said to me, "You know, you hit the jackpot being born in America."
I couldn't agree more.

Happy Fourth of July to you and all the Weasels!

Steely Dad said...

WM, I've been reading your blog and your comments on Dad Blogs and I have to be honest with you: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY! I couldn't concur with you more even if I tried. Thanks for using the more accurate word to describe our nation: REPUBLIC. Anyhow, I've added you to my blog roll. I think this is the beginning of a great friendship. I heard you're not having a good day. Check out my blog. I linked to this post as I loved it so much. Check out my photo on the post. I hope it puts a "smile" on your face.

WeaselMomma said...

@ Bellas Daddy ~ I am glad you like it, pass it on.

@ PJ ~ Socialist is bad enough, but I think you meant communist (sorry if I'm being nit-picky). I consider it to be an honor to be an American and all the freedoms and responsibilities that go with it. I have always wanted to visit Russia, especially before the fall of the iron curtain. I'm sure you learned a lot.

@ Oh Captain ~ Very well stated, Happy 4th to you and yours.

@ Tom ~ The danger (or part thereof) of the American Experiment is that people have rights but not a legal obligation to the responsibilities. Many don't even realize that with rights come responsibilities. I wouldn't change it for anything, it's part of the process. I just wish everyone would step up.

@ Jonny Tam ~ Happy 4th to you and yours. Spread the word. There are more people that think this way than do not. They just live in fear of being marginalized as gun toting, bible thumping. flag waving, wackos. It's no longer cool to be patriotic. I however don't care.

@ Micro ~ Thank you for the compliment, but to make this required reading would be against everything this country stands for. I'm glad you liked it and feel free to spread the word.

@ Surprised ~ Thanks for the nice compliment. I feel honored to have been born here.

@ Steely Dad ~ That is quite a compliment. Thank you. I can see great things in our future.

Michelle said...

What a great post -- and I especially loved you quoting yourself ... initially unattributed, of course.


Happy Fourth to you!

Being an American means having the ability to do what we choose and recognizing that there are also some who choose not to exercise that responsibility in an appropriate manner, or even not to exercise it at all. Part of being free means that we can't compel people to do what we wish -- even if they make life difficult. Were any of this done under George III or other monarchs, these people would not be able to enjoy their ability to abuse their freedom. And that's a blessed thing.

WeaselMomma said...

@ Michelle ~ Well stated. We even have the freedom to slack on our responsibilities. This is one great nation.

Daddy Files said...

Happy Fourth and I like the patriotic post.

Today, I think of all the troops fighting for us, but specifically of my friends Staff Sgt. Kelly Woerdeman, Sgt. Alicia Banks and Staff Sgt. Victor Banks. Between them, they share six tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. The knowledge that they, and all the other members of the armed forces, would die for me at a moment's notice is pretty damn powerful.

Happy Fourth!

Bad Momma said...

Great post! I had just heard the tidbit on NPR about the July 2nd date. (Which would have been on Canada Day).

I'm going to have to re-read the Constitution & Declaration to see if the term "Total Jerkwad" is in there!

Happy 4th!

WeaselMomma said...

@ Daddy Files ~ That is a very powerful thought and friends to be proud of. When you see them next, tell them I said Thank you.

@ Bad Momma ~ You always crack me up. Look up the jerkwad thing and get back to me.

Mrs4444 said...

Who knew you were a civics teacher?! Great post, WM!

-Justin said...

I believe 'total jerkwad' is in there. Only they wrote funny back then. Take Thomas Jefferson's description of King George:
"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states."
Or in more understandable language:
"King George was, is, and will always be a total jerkwad, and we wanna get the hell away from him."
Great job, WM, couldn't have said it better myself. ;)

Mom in High Heels said...

Very well said. I give you a virtual standing ovation.
We celebrated our sixth 4th of July in Germany. It is amazing to see how proud we are of our country. Even the Germans get in on it. At our local markets, they put out "American Style" foods around the 4th and had red, white and blue banners and streamers decorating the store interiors. Of course for them it's purely economical, but I think that now they have their own version of the 4th (Oct 3rd-Unification Day), they get why ours is so important.
All of the military bases do it big in Europe and it often feels more American than the celebrations we've been to in the US. Weird, huh? Maybe it's because we aren't enjoying all those freedoms by living in a foreign country. Yes, we still have the basic rights, but it's different here. That probably doesn't make sense, but I'm really jet lagged. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Mocha Dad said...

Thanks for that history lesson.

Jason said...

I know I'm late(stupid no internet in the sticks...)but I hope you had a great 4th!!

Cheffie-Mom said...

I hope you enJOYed a wonderful weekend with your family! Great post!

de-I said...

Nice stuff WM. I wish more of our fellow citizens would read and understand about how human those founding fathers were. How tough it was for them. How painful. How egotistical they were (that too!). And how they persevered.

Your responsibilities are spot on. Hope you had a nice holiday since my girl told me it rained their.

terri said...

We take a lot for granted in this country. Thanks for the reminder of the huge sacrifices that were made to ensure we enjoy the freedoms we do.

Otter Thomas said...

Wonderfully put. The founding fathers risked all and created something greater than any of them could have ever imagined.

Being an American means everthing to me. It is one of the things I thank God for regularly. I have travelled to a lot of other countries and that makes it clear very quickly how lucky we all are in this country.

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