Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy July 4th - 1776 to 2017

On Thursday, the 4th Day of the Month of July in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-and-Six, a group of erudite, audacious, white men assembled and with all due ceremony, signed the United States Declaration of Independence.  You can read about it at this link: The Declaration of Independence from US History.  I claim to be distantly related to one of these men -  Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence, became the third U.S. president, and was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.

We can only imagine the thoughts that were running through the minds of the men who signed this document, which amounted to a strongly worded shout of defiance to King George III, coupled with a coarse gesture generally reserved for divorce lawyers, rude drivers, and I.R.S. agents.  They knew they were in for it, and they knew that a significant portion of the local populace was against them.  Being fairly intelligent, they likely also knew that the vast majority of people didn't give a tinker's damn one way or the other.  Looking back, that may be hard to believe, but that's the way it was.

The good guys won that one, and it wasn't easy, and it wasn't any fun.  Most times it was pure misery, and Lord help you if you stopped a rifle ball, because if the ball didn't kill you, the doctor would.  Those that the doctor missed or couldn't get to often died of infection.  You could also cash in your chips from exposure, meaning the environment killed you.  Some people froze to death, a few drowned.  Then there was good old fashioned, everyday illness.  The common cold could advance to pneumonia, which was often fatal.

Right in the middle of this hard life, people got together and started a revolutionary war with a larger country.  I can't help but think that they had to be pretty tough.

So today I'll raise my glass and toast those tough men and a few women who prized freedom from oppression so much that they were willing to suffer for it.  Any fool can die for it; but to get up every morning and get right back to working on the revolution took a rare type of individual, and that's what I admire most.

Here's a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of my afternoon bourbon glass - here's to freedom!


CWMartin said...

Point well taken- that second paragraph. How very unlike the situation now...

Bob G. said...

Mad Jack:
A very good account of what the 4th means.
And I agree w/ Chris for the same reason. Your explanation was spot on of how men were THEN...sure isn't the way they are now, or at least, they're in a lot shorter supply.
We could use their kind today, that's for sure.

Stay safe (and patriotic)) out there.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks guys. Another thing I forgot to mention, and it may be worth mentioning, is that the personal duel was a fact of life back then. A man's honor and reputation were precious to him, and disparaging remarks would result in a situation that could escalate into pistols for two, coffee for one.

Not all duels were fatal, and in fact quite a few weren't. The point was that you were willing to stand up for whatever it was you said, or stand against whatever was said to insult you. With the advent of firearms you didn't need to be big and strong - all you needed to do was be able to control yourself and practice until you could reliably hit a large, obstreperous target at a ridiculously short range.

Bob G. said...

Yes indeed...Excellent point.
It DOES all come down to being able to police ONESELF, too.
We're ALL capable of becoming murderers on the inside (given the right circumstances), but so many of us make the common sense CHOICE to NOT be one today.
Others...not so much (and it shows).

Stay safe out there.