Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Freedoms We Enjoy From the Sacrifice of Others

This last week in my American Institutions class at USU, we watched a video about the Revolutionary War. In it was a man quoting Thomas Paine in Common Sense.

As I sat in class, the truth of these words brought tears to my eyes.

"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a City, a County, a Province, or a Kingdom; but of a Continent — of at least one-eighth part of the habitable Globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith and honour. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters."

To be a beneficiary of the sacrifice of those patriots who cared more for the freedom of our country and their fellowmen than themselves, leaves me humbled, and grateful, without words to adequately praise them.

I've considered myself a quiet patriot. But as I sit in class and learn more about the knowledge and understanding the founding fathers had and the sacrifices they made, I realize that I am only a lazy recipient of others' diligence. I need to repent, to get involved in the current fight for freedom. As I look around at the state of my county,
it has come so far from the full freedom our founding fathers secured for us. And I know that I haven't done much to preserve that freedom.

I've enjoyed it. I've taken advantage of the rights that I have to pursue happiness, to worship as I see fit, to educate my children in my home, to speak out, to hold differing views and not have to hide in fear of my government. But how long will it be before my own slothfulness, combined with those around me, will take those precious freedoms away? I truly fear the answer. I hope it is not "everlastingly too late."

After the video, Dr. Craig Peterson said that he never hears the words in Common Sense without choking up. I was glad that I wasn't the only one. If only I can remember the heritage that I have been given, and do my personal best to preserve it.

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