THIS IS A REMINDER.

ALL AMERICANS SHOULD READ THIS AGAIN AS WE APPROACH THE FOURTH OF JULY.

The 4TH OF JULY

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured
before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons
serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the
Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their
sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine
were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well
educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing
full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his
ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and
properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to
move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress
without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were
taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,
Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the
British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his
headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open
fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy
jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories
and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed,
rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and
education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing
tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of
this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine
providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our
fortunes, and our sacred honor." They gave you and me a free and
independent America. The history books never told you a lot about
what happened in the Revolutionary War.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she
was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and
his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in
forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his
children vanished. Some of us take these liberties so much for
granted, but we shouldn't.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July
holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for
the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

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