Saturday, July 4, 2020

Our Sacred Honor


I suppose it isn't fashionable to speak of honor these days. So few seem to understand the concept and seemingly fewer still have any. I could be mistaken, but instead of roars of outrage, I see quiet, cowardly acquiescence to the strident and illogical demands of a tiny minority who wish nothing more than to see all that has been built by others torn down.

In a day and age of rudeness, spite, disorder, anarchy, and a desire to tear down all that many of us hold dear, I think back over the two-hundred and forty-four years of this country's existence. I think of the men and women, from all walks of life, who worked hard to build this nation. The soldier, the sailor, the factory worker, the farmer, the doctor, the nurse, the teacher, the firefighter, the police officer, and all the many others who get up each day and simply do their jobs.

I see the soldier dying on the field of battle, giving the last full measure so that freedom might not perish from this Earth.

I see young black men and women marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to demand just and equal treatment before the law for all men and women, regardless of color.

I see the farmer, praying for just the right amount of rain, carefully tending his crops so that others might be fed.

I see the police officer comforting the victim of a traffic accident, knowing that they are not going to make it, yet refusing to leave that person to die alone.

I see the firefighter go once more into a burning building to make sure that no one is left behind.

I see the doctors and nurses treating the sick and the injured, doing their best, often under trying circumstances, to heal and to comfort.

I see the teacher trying to give their students the means to succeed in a complex world.

Yes, there are those who aren't very good at their jobs, but this is America, the land of second chances, the land of hope. Americans don't quit, they keep striving.

On this day, as we commemorate our Independence from Great Britain, we must never cease to strive until ALL Americans have an equal shot at the American Dream. For those that want it, we need to ensure that the playing field is level.

Things are not as bad as some claim. Can they be better? Of course, we should always strive to make things better, never be content with what is, always ask, how can we make things better?

To those who built this Nation, I salute you.

To those who continue to work to keep Her strong, I'm with you.

Happy Independence Day!

In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. 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. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.




32 comments:

  1. 10/10 Sarge.........

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  2. Well said my friend, well said!!

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  3. Honour. It's a special word to me, too.

    Great post.

    Happy Birthday, USA!! https://youtu.be/DHLlwiLebkc

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  4. There are several reasons I like coming here every day when I can, but one of the most compelling is that the values reflected by all writings, both from the "paid writers" and the commentators, are so closely aligned with how I feel, what I think are important values. Thanks to all of you for that, especially you, Sarge, for establishing this forum that means a lot to all of us. Your post today is another good example of what I'm talking about.
    With that out of the way, I am always very moved by reading the Declaration of Independence. Lots of things said that apply today, hence it is a 'timeless' document. And for the signers to affix their name to it in that time, the last phrade - "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" - was an oath of fact, not hyperbole. Had the War of Independence not gone the way it did, they would have all been hanged for treason. It pains me that so many of the more recent generations have no emotional attachment to or understanding of the principles espoused in the Declaration. May that be rectified and may our country still be around and free in another 244 years.

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    1. Agree with your post Tom, especially the first paragraph. I don't say much here since so many post so more eloquently and with more knowledge. Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue and what it stands for!

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    2. Nylon12 - We're all Red, White, and Blue in spirit!

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  5. Hey AFSarge;

    Happy 244th to us, May we have 244th more to us :), Excellent Post! and too many of the rabble rouser have no honor bwcause they consider it an anarchic concept not applicable in a modern world any more.

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  6. I just read this on Power line. Thought it appropriate for today's Independence Day environment. It's an excerpt from Calvin Coolidge's 150th Independence Day speech.

    "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."

    I've been thinking along those lines for some time now, but could never have put it into words so succinctly. Silent Cal wasn't so silent after all.

    Have a happy Independence Day y'all.

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    1. Calvin Coolidge was a smart guy!

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    2. One of my favorite presidents and a pretty good candidate for Top 10 Presidents.

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    3. What a great sentiment for these particular times - thanks, juvat!

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  7. I am often reminded of one of the most patriotic speeches in movies in the last 40 years. No matter who we are, we're mutants.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXjqTyQuq4w

    The cast-offs, the dregs, the losers, the disaffected, the disenfranchised, the loners, those stuck holding the shitey end of the stick, yet they forged the best last hope for all mankind.

    And on that note, here's a little Bab5 for ya (all 5 season openers, notice how the music changes every season.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vIVFgXaxsU

    Seriously, though. I love this country. And I come from a long line of losers, malcontents, freaks and weirdos. Ancestors got kicked out of England and asked to leave Holland because they were a tad too religious. Others got disinvited to stay in Canada after being disinvited to stay in France and then were disinvited to stay all along the east coast of America until they ended up in swamps. One, whom I get my last name from, was basically disinvited to stay in Germany. Weee. Had and lost relatives in all wars up to WWI. Then, due to birth cycles and single childs, family managed to skip any conflict until the generation after me, and so far my nephew-godson is staying alive (though he said Puerto Rico was, in a lot of respects, worse than Iraq, and, yes, they were being shot at in the PR but nobody talks about that, do they?)

    And, to echo the words of a great man from yesterday, like literally yesterday, I will kneel to no man, only to my God. I will bow to no man, but will extend my hand in friendship and trust. Those are my customs, and they are as worthy of respect as everyone else's.

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  8. Forgot to thank you for the great header today.

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  9. Happy birthday USA!
    Live long and prosper!
    And remember you have friends in Europe, and Poland is amongst most stalwart ones.

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    1. I know we can count on Poland. Always.

      The spirits of Kościuszko and Pulaski live on!

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  10. Thank you, Sarge, and Happy Independence Day.

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  11. Excellent post. A Man without honor is not much of a man. “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge

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    1. President Coolidge knew what he was talking about.

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  12. We have lost honor as a concept and a practice. And we are the poorer for it.

    Happy Independence Day.

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  13. Happy Independence Day, Sarge, and thank you for your service to keep it that way.
    --Tennessee Budd

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...