Thursday, July 2, 2009



“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” –Sam Adams-

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. “ -John F. Kennedy-

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and like the obligatory prose writers of the Christmas season; I thought I would borrow their yearly hack question and pose it new manner and ask: “What is the real meaning of The Fourth Of July?”

Flags will wave, countless speeches will drone well written hollow patriotic sentiments forgotten within the hour. Barbeques will be fired up and tons of hot dogs, hamburgers and a few less steaks than last year will be consumed. A land fill of baked beans and potato salad will be gobbled up and the beer will flow in legendary quantities.

People will die of the highways; drown in pools and from falling out of their boats. Hospital emergency rooms will hum with attempts to repair fireworks casualties, and those who will do nothing much, will, half drunk, await their fire works on TV following a rousing Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and some local military unit proudly blasting away ear drums of the all too close…and we will have celebrated yet another fourth of July.

But just what will we have celebrated? Will anyone stand at a microphone and intone with passion each and every word of The Declaration of Independence? Will anyone dare to say that what we celebrate today is the fruit of a violent revolution where people took the law into their own hands and in an act of treason, should they have failed, overturned by force arms the legitimate rule of England over this land.

Will anyone speak of the fact that our fore bearers lay in ambush at the Bridge between Concord and Lexington prepared to kill those whom they had deemed to be their oppressors?

Will anyone draw the certain parallel that exists today in a government disdainful of the very laws which it insists we must observe? Will anyone draw the certain parallel that exists in a government that eaten out our economic substance?

Will a voice be heard in suggestion that the words of Jefferson, enshrined in The Declaration of Independence, the first and highest law of this land, which we celebrate on the Fourth of July are as relevant today as when our fore fathers risked their lives with a simple signature and commitment to an idea, the idea the governments exist to serve people and that when they no longer do so, that it the right and duty of those being ill treated to tear down and destroy such governments that shall have become oppressors and not servants of those who permit them to exist.

One must seriously raise the question: “Is what we do tomorrow of any serious and sincere import, or is it just another choreographed act of national hypocrisy?” Are we the equals of our forefathers, or miserable cowering failures who can only pay faint lip service to their greatness?

This nation, the people, the leaders must take stock because, despite all manipulations possible in today’s world; there still can come that moment in time where from a single volley of gun fire can emerge a conflagration of blood, fire and steel that will topple all that we are accustomed to and can no longer tolerate. That is what the Fourth of July is all about; it is not only the celebratory observance of a nation’s Independence from its colonial oppressor; it is about the independent spirit of our species that can only be beaten down for so long before man arises from his knees and reclaims his freedom and dignity by force of arms in resistance, revolt and revolution.

Thus it was once, and thus it may be again; so stop for just one moment amidst whatever diversion you choose for the day, set aside that beer bottle or beer can, and simply utter to yourself: “Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson” and remember in those names and their historical colleagues you will find the real meaning of the day. You will not find it pageantry, respite or a sky bursting with color, but in the blue –gray smoke of the after burst, the color of the burned powder fog at Concord and Lexington.

Will anyone but me have eyes well up with tears as I reread as I do every Fourth of July the first law of this land?

“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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Thomas Jefferson-

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." –Thomas Jefferson-

The Beginning Of The 1812 Overture: (Seldom Heard) Begins with the plaintive Russian Orthodox Troparion of the Holy Cross ("God Preserve Thy People")

Mighty Lord,
Preserve us from jeopardy.
Take thee now our fate
and glow bright in penitence
and be-e with me
O'er trecherous and cruel and grand unease and to our land bring peace.
O mighty Lord hear our lowly prayer,
and by light, shinning holy light, grant us oh Lord Peace again.
O mighty Lord hear our prayer.

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