The text of the speech is below:
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. ...
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. -Declaration of Independence July 4 1776
Patriotism, a word we hear so often, yet how many of us give thought to what it really means? Of who the PATRIOTS were, are, and will be?
Patriotism is a broad topic and everyone seems to have their own ideas or definition of it.
However, before we can go into details about this vital concept called PATRIOTISM, we need to understand what it means.
#1 Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “ Love, Loyalty and zealous support for one’s country.” Pledging their Love, Fortunes and Sacred Honor.
Patrick Henry made the call to patriotism in 1775 when he said “:
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace.
The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle?
What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
The patriots are those who love and zealously support their nation, who are willing to and have given their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for it.
Our Founders made that commitment to America in the 1700’s.
Patrick Henry in his “War is Inevitable” Speech stated “Give me liberty of give me death.”
Benjamin Franklin, when signing the Declaration stated “ We must all hang together or we will all hang separately”.
TODAY, what so many don’t seam to grasp is when those 55 men signed the Declaration they understood that if they lost the war, they and just signed away their life. Treason was punishable by torture and hanging. Yet, they were willing to DIE FOR LIBERTY.
Since then, many patriots have risen. Our soldiers from the American Revolution, the World wars, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and many others have given and sacrificed their lives for this nation.
On September 11th 2001, Firemen, policemen, and first Responders, RAN into the burning buildings. Many were trapped or killed when the towers collapsed as they tried to rescue fellow Americans.
That same day on UNITED AIRLINES Flight 93, Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick , Tom Burnett, Jr. and Mike Bingham also decided to sacrifice themselves.
United 93 was only an hour on its way when hijackers armed with box cutters took over the Cock Pit. These men and maybe others on the plane decided to TAKE IT BACK.
While all the passengers died, Their HEROISM saved many other lives that day!
OUR FOUNDERS, OUR SOLDIERS, OUR FIREMEN and POLICEMEN have shown how to live Patriotically, BUT like those on United 93, OUR Citizens must be PATRIOTS as well.
It would not be “going too far” to that they TRUE PATRIOTISM requires sacrifice. As Citizens we need to avidly support our nation. Defending the heritage of this great nation demonstrates patriotism. Honoring, Supporting, and encouraging our military demonstrates patriotism as well!
In order to be patriotic, we must remember, that the freedom we are fighting to preserve, DID NOT COME WITHOUT A PRICE.
That SACFRICE, however, does not have to mean dying for your Country. There are many endeavors citizens can get involved in. The people sending care packages overseas, and writing letters are being patriotic and the people bake cookies for firemen and policemen are supporting those in the field, and showing patriotism as well.
Ronald Reagan once said “We stand here on the only island of freedom that is left in the whole world. There is no place to fee to, no place to escape to.
We defend our freedom here or it is gone.
There is no place for us to run. Only make a stand, and if we fail I think we face telling our children, and our children’s children, what it is we found more precious than freedom.
Because I am sure that someday, if we fail, there will be a generation that will ASK!
We are the only Island of Freedom left in the world. It is our DUTY to support it and those who protect and defend it. We are in a WAR. Like no other, we are fighting against an ideal, not an army. We were attacked on our CONTINENT, our HOME FRONT, and now we have soldiers defending us overseas for something, THEY consider PRICELESS: FREEDOM
Will we continue to support our Nation? One of the problems with this generation, MY GENERATION, is that so many of us are selfish. Taking everything for granted, even, in most cases, our FREEDOM. WE must NOT continue this trend! We must appreciate our freedom. Appreciate the lives that it cost to get us this far and are keeping us free.
As a Christian American Citizen, I KNOW that our freedom was obtained and preserved by Patriots who gave their lives to give us liberty! The most significant display was Christ on the cross. Setting us free from the bonds of sin. Second, to Christ on that cross, is OUR AMERICAN PATRIOTS of the past and present who DAILY sacrifice their time, fortune and lives for the CAUSE of Freedom.
Darryl Worrly wrote a song not long after 9/11 entitled “Have You Forgotten?” In the Chorus he states
“_Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire And her people blown away? Have you forgotten when those towers fell? We had neighbors still inside Going through a living hell now you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden Have you forgotten?
I've been there with the soldiers Who've gone away to war And you can bet they remember Just what they're fighting for
Have you forgotten all the people killed? Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field Have you forgotten about our Pentagon? All the loved ones that we lost And those left to carry on Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden Have you forgotten?
Have we forgotten? Immediately after 9/11 this country was united, there were flags on every street corner.
We all cheered from our guts when President bush came out on September 14th and stood on that rubble and stated “ I hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people that attacked these buildings are going to hear from all of us soon!”
Has America forgotten? I hope not, but it is hard to tell. Life has returned to normal while is nation is still at war. Now more than ever we need to be patriots, we need to tell America to WAKE UP! And show the World that we support our troops.
Christ died to free us for eternity and our Founders and servicemen have labored and died to keep America, that CITY ON A HILL, as Reagan called it. It is OUR DUTY to support AMERICA. Like the Founders pledged their lives, fortunes and Sacred Honor, we need to sacrifice for our nations as well. Sending letters and care packages to soldiers, volunteering in various organizations, getting involved in politics on the local, state, or federal level are different ways to get involved. Others have sacrificed and we MUST NOT FORGET!
Some Americans have forgotten, the question is, WILL WE? Or WILL WE BE THE 2nd GREATEST GENERATION?