Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lest We Forget

In the beginning of this great country men and women who desired to escape their downtrodden conditions came from foreign countries to this land for a new beginning. They desired in their hearts to be free from oppression. They believed in the basic human rights of freedom to worship their God, freedom of speech and the right to self-government. But they found themselves under the rule of a foreign government that tried to impose upon them things that they felt were unfair and oppressive. Their futile struggle for fair treatment over the years gained them no favor from their oppressor. In the year of 1776 the fight for independence and freedom began with the “Declaration of Independence.” They vowed to be independent and free to follow their dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Armed with the love for their God, land and families they fought against overwhelming odds with the shedding of blood, sweat and tears until the victory was theirs. Thus the very foundation of this wonderful nation is the blood of those who fought and died for a freedom that they themselves never lived to enjoy. They fought and died because they considered their cause greater than themselves. Many more who fought with those who fell were emotionally and physically scared for life. United in one purpose they fought for freedom from tyranny, oppression and outright slavery, not for their own sake but for their children and their children’s children.

As a result of our forefathers victory a government was formed “of the people, by the people and for the people.” A nation was born that was ruled, not by one man or a group of men, but by laws imposed by a free people upon themselves. A Constitution and a “Bill of Rights” was written and established to preserve the basic human rights of the citizens of this new Nation. Purchased with the price of their own blood, this independent free nation was their gift to their posterity.

Through the years that followed there were those who desired to take our inherence from us--to kill, destroy and enslave us for their own personal gain. There were and are those who say men are not capable of self-rule; these are the oppressors, the tyrants and dictators who seek only to exalt themselves above God and man. Each time our right to freedom was challenged brave men and woman rose up to fight and defend our inherence. Armed with the same love of God, love of our free country and love of family that was our forefathers they have fought to preserve our independence and freedom; thus we are still free. Truly, God has blessed America!!

There is a man confined to a wheel chair residing in the State Veterans Home in Collins, Ms. who has a sign mounted on the back of his wheel chair which reads, “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.” One look at this man and the sign is not needed to remind us. This State Veterans Home and other Homes like it though out this State and the Nation are filled with those who bear the emotional and physical scars of war. Lest we forget we need only to visit these homes and the gravesides of those who have fallen, or look upon our friends and neighbors who bear the emotional scars of fighting in past wars and at those whose vision and hearing are impaired, or at those who have lost limbs and bear other scares in their body, or to look around us at those who have lost love ones.

We owe our forefathers and those who have fought to defend our independence and freedom a debt. This debt can only be paid through a renewed vow of independence, a vow to defend and preserve the inherence of freedom for our children and all men who desire to be free. Such a renewed vow should be made with the same love as that of those who have so bravely served and who are now serving us in the cause of freedom. Without this unselfish, sacrificing love there is no will to fight. Therefore, let us love our God, our nation and our families greater than we love ourselves that we may be willing to lay down our lives, if necessary, that our children might become heirs of the freedom we ourselves enjoy.

James C Sanford

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