Sacrifice in the Name of Freedom
This weekend there will be thousands of “Tea Parties” across the United States. In Maryland at least seven are planned, being diligently promoted and advertised. If you can attend a local Tea Party please do so. While you are there, take a little time and ponder these thoughts.
No matter how oppressive you feel government currently is, it is not even close to the troop occupation and tyranny beset on our forefathers in 1776.
This weekend, when you assemble with like-minded friends, what will you do and how would you react if protesters bomb you with water balloons? Or paint? Think about the many protesters in the 1770s who were pelted with garbage from their neighbors while shackled in a pillory in the town square.
Could you be chained for your beliefs, or would a water balloon send you home? Could you stand by the roadside, by yourself, and protest? How would you react if your picture was above the fold of your local paper and you were in handcuffs?
We all talk a good game and perhaps some are very dedicated; but our problems – and our protests – pale in comparison to the sacrifices of those who gave us freedom and taught us liberty by their actions.
If you choose to miss a picnic to attend a Tea Party, or experience the hardships of getting stuck in traffic to and from a rally, it is a very small sacrifice when compared to the personal and business sacrifices of those who signed on the parchment for your freedom in the summer of 1776.
Your right to assemble, to make signs, chant slogans, speak your mind – right or wrong – and protest oppressive taxes is a freedom purchased for your by our determined, zealous forefathers.
Today, how many of us would give up everything for freedom? We think we have problems in our current government and we know we can voice our protests, but what would happen this weekend if there were consequences of your protests?
Could you sacrifice your family’s fortune and reputation? Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence died poor and penniless. Some were hunted by the British as traitors. Some were shunned in their communities.
This weekend we’ll stop at the local Wal-Mart, buy some poster board and a broad washable marker to make a sign. It will have a cute slogan about tea, tax or America and, after an hour or so in the sun, we’ll be finished with it and put it in the car’s truck to recycle later. Then it’s fun stuff with family and friends for the rest of the weekend.
We’ll complain if we have to walk too far to get to the rally and then on the way home run the air conditioner full blast because we got over heated standing outside. If there is time, we’ll stop on the way home from that holiday picnic for an ice cream or soda, and perhaps grumble again about the 6% sales tax we pay – if we remember.
During the family picnic we’ll eat way too much from our holiday paper plates and plastic cups. We’ll drink imported lite beer and sodas filled with chemicals thinking it helps after gorging on too much food. Our hot dogs and hamburgers will be cooked on grills made outside the USA. Most likely our deck or patio was built by foreign help.
When twilight comes we’ll gather the plastic, foreign made lawn chairs along with the foreign made American flags and watch the children celebrate with sparklers made in China.
Sometime after nine, as you sit in our chair or lie on your blanket, both made in a third world country, to watch the community fireworks display, think about your day.
You are free because those who went before you sacrificed. Your liberties are guaranteed because many endured hardships and gave their lives and livelihood for you. You enjoy freedom and economic standards unlike the citizens of any other country.
Members of a free society have full dominion over their public and private lives. It is the very definition of freedom. What will you accomplish to secure the same for our future generations?
Have a celebratory 4th of July.
(Editor’s Note: The Frederick “Tea Party” will be held at the Frederick County Courthouse Plaza at 100 West Patrick Street from 8:30 A.M. to 10 A.M. on July 4.)