My Family

My Family

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lest We Forget...

Today I, like many others, am reflecting on the country I live in and the freedoms I enjoy. Although I am not happy with the current leaders and their unwise choices, I still love this country. And I know that it is a chosen country - one that will maintain it's freedom as long as the people are good and virtuous. I have, quite often of late, been dissatisfied with the direction our country is headed and have not hesitated to voice my opinions in front of my children. I know that childrens' ideas and opinion often mirror that of their parents. I know the importance of educating our children about this country. Noah Webster said: "Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." I want my children to know the importance of freedom and liberty - how this country was founded on principles and values - and that it was founded, and remains free, by the grace of divine providence. Since I've been not too happy about the leaders of the country for quite some time now, I want my children to know that I still love this country. I still believe that we are blessed to live here. It is a great country - an incredible idea that was brought to fruition by a handful of incredible men. I'd like to share some of the founding fathers' ideas here...

"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
--Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
--John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

"Here sir, the people govern."
--Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
--Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

"But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."
--George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

Here are my young sons - on a 4th of July many years ago. One of my favorite pictures:

Take time to reflect on the ideas of freedom and liberty today. Happy 4th of July!

1 comment:

HTF said...

Thanks for taking the time to write this. I particularly enjoyed the quotes! Great post.

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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys