And for the purpose 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.
~ last sentence of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
For most of us in America, the 4th of July is a holiday that consists of joining with family and friends. We grill out, watch fireworks, and enjoy each others company.
But it started so much differently. 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. They pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. They knew it was likely a death-warrant they were signing.
They displayed courage. They displayed honor. They displayed the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of what was right. It would affect their futures. It would affect their fortunes. It would affect their families.
I look through generations of my family, and I see men like this. Men who have stood and do stand for what is right and true. I see two grandfathers who served in WWII – one of them on Omaha Beach. I see a father who served in the Vietnam Era. I see a brother who now serves.
These are men who are willing to sacrifice.
Their service and sacrifice, along with all who went before them, provide for the freedom I will exercise today. Freedom to welcome guests to my home. Freedom to thank God for providing. Freedom to watch our children play. Freedom.
Blood was spilled for these freedoms.
This year I will not take these for granted.