Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pondering our so-called independence today

From Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation:

An anecdote that Benjamin rush, the Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, liked to tell in his old age makes the point memorably. On July 4, 1776, just after the Continental Congress had finished making its revisions of the Declaration and sent it off to the printer for publication, Rush overheard a conversation between Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry," said Harrison, "when we are alll hung for what we are 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 the comment "procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted."

On this day we celebrate truly great Americans who with a stroke of their quill pens signed their own death warrants in order to secure real democratic freedoms. We cannot but compare the occupants of the White House today and wonder why we have settled for so little when the founding brothers were willing to sacrifice so much.

[Image: Wikipedia, United States Declaration of Independence]

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