Sorry for not posting last week. Due to some very bad water intrusion, we had to bail for a few days and put things back together. We got off pretty light based on the reports from other residents around the country far and wide.
Independence Day we usually go to a little piece of Heaven on Earth named Lake Blackshear near Warwick, Georgia to visit with family at my wife's aunt's place in an elegant home that sits on a peninsular with uninterrupted views of one of South Georgia's most beautiful waterways. The house itself is one of those places that they just don't build anymore. Low slung with wide eaves and lots of glass, it is a classic fifties ranch that combines modern design with well crafted details, traditional influences and comfortable furnishings. And of course, there is always the food. There simply is nothing quite like real southern food. Somehow it just makes people nicer and sleepy.
As we were planning this little road trip with various family members, it occurred to me that the uniqueness of the celebration of our nation's independence brings together love of family and love of country like no other holiday we celebrate. It is precisely because, over two hundred years ago, men of incredible vision and bravery drew a metaphorical line in the sand and established The United States which has endured wars, economic upheaval and, at times, amazing political stupidity, to become the longest continuous government in history.
In the Pulitzer Prize winning book Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis he reminds us that the American Revolution was just that, a revolution. Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, et al were not only men of profound character, they also understood that what they were engaging in could land them all at the end of a noose. As Ellis recounts a conversation overheard by Benjamin Rush, a declaration signer, you can understand the gravity of the revolution being birthed by men of political genius and fortitude:
Rush overheard a conversation between Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and
Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "I shall have a great advantage over you Mr.
Gerry," said Harrison, "when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From
the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness
of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead." Rush
recalled that the comment "procured a transient smile, but was soon succeeded
by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted."
So what is the point and what does any of this have to do with travel for Nomads? The point- Because of the invention of Democracy in 1776, we are free to travel as we please and enjoy the incredible grandeur and beauty of this great country. In addition, the very act of rebellion founded in the words and the eventual fight for the new republic started something that has been responsible for more people being free the world over than any other single event in history. The next time you see a newscast showing some place in the world where women can't drive or people are persecuted because of their religious beliefs, it is imperative that you recognize that we are free because a group of "brilliant rebels" fulfilled "our" destiny with history through the greatest single document ever penned by humankind.
So, in honor of this great day in our nation's history, I have reprinted the entire Declaration of Independence. I urge you to read it, make your kids read it and be thankful that we live in the greatest country on earth.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
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.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
Happy Fourth To Free Nomads Everywhere!!!!
Video Artists of The Week - America The Beautiful by the one and only Ray Charles and other arrangements by various artists including Lee Greenwood and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Quote of The Week - See Above