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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Remember the founders' courage

  • Happy 237th birthday, America!



    After visiting Independence Hall, where our brave forefathers created that famous document separating us from the ruling thumb of Britain, I am even more in adulation of their heroic actions.

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  • Happy 237th birthday, America!
    After visiting Independence Hall, where our brave forefathers created that famous document separating us from the ruling thumb of Britain, I am even more in adulation of their heroic actions.
    I could envision Richard Henry Lee of Virginia firing the first verbal salvo for independence with his historic proposal, “That these United Colonies, are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states.”
    Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration in less than three weeks. After several revisions it was voted on and signed by John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, and Secretary Charles Thomson, on July Fourth. Another copy was created and signed by all 56 delegates by Aug. 2.
    History is replete with heroic stories of those brave men and women who fought for independence.
    Patriots such as Robert Morris and Carter Braxton, who donated much of their wealth to the cause and who both ended up in debt. Morris even went to debtors prison.
    Caesar Rodney, weak from cancerous pain, raced back to Philadelphia from Delaware on horseback 14 straight hours to cast a vote for Independence.
    There were patriotic women, such as Mercy Otis Warren, Martha Washington, Eliza Pinckney and Abigail Adams, brave wife of that keystone of patriotism, President John Adams. Our founding mothers were often separated from their spouses and had to endure multiple hardships such as rearing the children, tending to farms, businesses, and the fear of facing British and Hessian soldiers.
    It bears repeating my belief that our Revolutionary generation were unquestionably our “greatest generation,” for they were not only defending a country they were creating one and against the largest navy and army in the world at that time. Las Vegas would have probably given them 100 to 1 odds against succeeding, but they persevered and they won.
    Parents should pass on to their children why we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, parades and flag-waving. It is a day of remembrance, adulation and pride.
    It would behoove all of us to annually read that living document – the Declaration of Independence. Feel the power of Jefferson’s pen. Envision their turmoil and times, and would you have signed your name to those closing defiant patriotic words, “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor?”
    In 1826, 50 years after signing the Declaration, a dying John Adams toasted: “I give you independence forever.”
    Happy birthday, America!
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.
     
     
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