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Jul 4
Independence Day Leadership
Malad Parade  04 Legionaires.JPGEven in the smallest towns across America, the 4th of July provides a reminder of the courageous leadership that established principles upon which the United States was founded. Veterans of our armed forces represent what is great and valuable about this day and America.

A Declaration of Independence was not a simple matter. Nor was it a demand of the mainstream populace. Among many of the leaders of that day, peace with England seemed the prudent path. A third of the colonists remained loyal to England.

The drafting and adoption of the Declaration of Independence required vision, risk and sacrifice. It required the collective resolve, intellect and leadership of a handful of men in the Continental Congress. Its adoption on July 4, 1776 followed a near month of anguish when it was first proposed. It came after eloquent opposition and an impassioned oration by John Adams on behalf of independence. Its spirit was captured in the gifted prose of Thomas Jefferson. Representatives of the people debated the cause over three days and could not garner the votes required until July 4, 1776.

Even as Congressional leaders found the unanimous votes to carry the cause, the daunting British fleet was poised for attack in New York harbor. Thousands of trained and well-equipped British soldiers are on ground, waiting for the call to crush the rag tag Continental Army lead by General George Washington. By signing the Declaration, these men committed treason against the crown of England. Treason carried the ominous sentence of death.

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Five were captured by the British and suffered torture before death. Twelve of the signers lost their homes as they were ransacked and burned. Nine fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War while two lost sons in the conflict.

Their cause and effort in it were noble. Their determination and commitment to the ideal of freedom and equality was unwavering. Their strength and courage in a time of crisis and danger was unflappable.

Their leadership is worthy of our admiration and emulation.

Thomas Paine, a Quaker and avowed pacifist, called the colonists to arms in defense of the attack on his property, his family, his rights, his country. He characterized the commitment to freedom that the signers of the Declaration of Independence clearly understood

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

The leadership of 1776 knew that the cost of freedom would not be cheap. Many paid the ultimate price and many are still willing to sacrifice all for freedom, justice and the basic rights of human kind. The 4th of July is our opportunity to honor that sacrifice and value its purpose.

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