What have the Yanks and the 4th July got to do with us? Get him off…burn the Yank I hear you say….Read on.Greetings Gentlemen,
Yesterday I took the day off from WATE. For the 4th of July, the most sacred of days in my country, is my day to truly reflect on what it means to be American.
Many in my country bar-b-que hot dogs, watch a ball game, attend fireworks celebrations or go shopping. All of that is fine and good. For me, each 4th of July finds me rereading my copy of the Declaration of Independence. I sometimes wonder how many of my fellow countrymen ever take the time to read it. It is the birth certificate, the founding life breathing document of the United States of America.
Although oft quoted for good or ill uses, and Jefferson's words truly resound through the ages, the line in the document that strikes me the most is the concluding phrase...
"We pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour"...
4 July 1776...56 men pledged life, property and honour that is to say reputation for a cause which appeared to all intelligent observers to be doomed...fighting a powerful empire with no army to speak of, no revenue, no blankets or muskets, not even a united populace, not even a united nation to speak of...
Yet still men pledged their lives and fortunes and sacred honour...risking the hangman's noose for treason to the King.
What is it that I am saying? Will this be the typical tea and taxation anti British rhetoric that you might come to expect across the Atlantic?
Hardly my friends. Many of you have known me for these past two years on this site. Often I have argued that the very essence of American liberty was formulated from the concepts of English liberty. I can not see something like the USA emerging from the French or German speaking world. One who rebels in such a legalistic, egalitarian manner must have precedence for such a rebellion. Most of these 56 men were lawyers after all.
These men pledged to an ideal that was achieved in 1215, in 1620, in 1660, in 1688. These were not dates in British history but dates in English history.
They were fighting for English liberties.
And so across the pond on this day many of you are fighting for your English liberties...for the very right of the name of England to exist much like men here fought for the very same liberties and the right for the name of United States to exist.
Nine months from now you all we be celebrating your nation's most sacred day. On 23 April you will hear the cries from the establishment admonishing you against voicing you identity. They will claim you don't even exist.
On your day will you pledge your lives your fortunes and your sacred honour for the cause of English liberty?
History shows many examples of independent spirit; of a people fighting for their existence against the odds. And history has shown many examples of this in the English world.
As the Englishman Tom Paine said not too long after the Declaration was signed..."These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
With Warmest Regards
Your Friends in America