OPINION

Early Americans sacrified all for freedom and a new government

Deanna Hoeme
Pratt Tribune
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

Dear Editor:

"Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor," when and where were these words actually written?

On July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Independence Hall, 56 men had gathered to declare freedom from Great Britian. These were not obscure men, but well-educated men, men of means. Some were jurists, lawyers and farmers. After many drafts by well-known Thomas Jefferson, they signed the Declaration of Independence as we know it today.

Quoting from the Decalration itself, "For the support of this Declaration, we a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor," the ending words of the Declaration.

Think of it, these men pledged everything they held dear against the then strongest nation in the world, Great Britian, and its monarch, King George III. In doing this, it meant they were traitors to the British Empire.

Almighty God, "who raises up governments and puts them down," Daniel 12:21, had brought these men together in Independence Hall later: "to form a more perfect union." A government, the likes of which had never been attempted by man in the history of the world.

Paul Harvey in his book, "Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor," quotes the fate of the 56 signers. Some lived and died as follows.

John Hancock, on the the wealthiest men in New England stood outside Boston on one terrible night of the war and said, "Burn Boston, though it makes John Hancock a beggar if the public good requires it."

Five of the original signers were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes sacked, looted, occupied by the enemy, or burned. Two lost their sons in the army. One had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 died in the war, from its hardships or from its more merciful bullets. But they considered their liberty so much more important than security that they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

And they fulfilled their pledge. They paid the price. And freedom was born.

In honor of these men, let us take time to honor these men and the thousands of Americans who have been in our armed forces through the decades. We must remember their sacrifices and pray for the future of America this Fourth of July.

Sincerely,

Deanna Hoeme

Preston, Kansas