In the United States we celebrate Independence Day by
having picnics, playing with friends, parades and
watching fireworks when night falls. We often forget
that it is much more than that. This is the day that
is thought of as the day our forefathers signed the
Declaration of Independence and made us a free people;
it actually happened over a few months, as the men
showed up to sign it, but on this day we celebrate it.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who
signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,
and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes
ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in
the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and
they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their
sacred honor. What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were
merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation
owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed
the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that
the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and
trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the
British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay
his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he
was forced to move his family almost constantly. He
served in the Congress without pay, and his family was
kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,
and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery,
Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge,
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted
that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the
Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged
General George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she
was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His
fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more
than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning
home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken
heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American
Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing
ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and
education. They had security, but they valued liberty
more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they
"For the support of this declaration, with firm
reliance on the protection of the divine providence,
we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our
fortunes, and our sacred honor."
They gave you and me a free and independent America,
at great cost to themselves! Some of us take these
liberties so much for granted...We shouldn't.
So, take a couple of minutes and silently thank these
patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they
WHY THE AMERICAN FLAG IS FOLDED 13 TIMES
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the
veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their
lives for the defense of our country to attain peace
throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American
citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of
peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of
Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries
may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart
that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of
America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation
under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is
through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and
our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found
within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the
valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light
of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been
through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the
character of the men and women who have made this
country great has been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given
his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since
they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents
the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon,
and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents
an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the
Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost
reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust".
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on
the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the
soldiers who served under General George Washington, and
the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul
Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates
in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us
the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. - Seneca -
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. - Earl Nightingale -
O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14
Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them; and the evils of it bear patiently and sweetly: for this day is only ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow. - Jeremy Taylor
Every day, try to help someone who can't reciprocate your kindness.
All of us are going to be faced with challenges, there's nothing we can do about that. How we prepare and how we decide to handle them is what makes the difference. God has made us in such a way that we can become victorious over the greatest odds.
Never give up on yourself or anyone else! Miracles happen every day!
The Two Rules of Perseverance:
Rule #1: Take one more step.
Rule #2: When you don't think you can take one more step, refer to Rule #1.