What it means to be Independent
On this Independence Day many of us will be enjoying time away from our normal responsibilities. Please remember there are many who are still downrange. As recent events clearly state, these wars are far from over. I fear the worst is still to come, that truest test between liberty and tyranny is ahead, not behind. Complacency fosters aggression and emboldens the oppressor.
In light of this, the 4th of July is a day to enjoy what generations before us have provided. Americans have faced the ultimate challenge in order to provide us all we have. Concord, New Orleans, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Normandy, Chosen Reservoir, Son Tay, 73 Easting, Fallujah, and Helmand Province are just a few places that generations of Americans battled tyranny. As a veteran owned company, this has a special significance for us at Handl Defense.
You might be grilling out, watching fireworks, or sitting at home watching a movie that stirs patriotic feelings. One might reflect on the phrase “Independence Day”. Why was it “Independence Day” instead of “Liberation Day” or “Freedom Day”. What does it mean to be independent, why is it important?
When the Declaration of Independence was written the 13 colonies were still property of the British Crown. The people in the Colonies were subject to the British Crown. They and their belongings effectively belonged to the Crown. King George III felt very little obligation to follow his own laws. Although not following the law in 18th century England was punished with what would be considered “cruel and usual” now.
The founders saw and understood as George Washington did. That the divine right of Kings was inferior to “the Divine Hand of Providence which guides our actions”. That Thomas Jefferson said “resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”. Or when he said “I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.”
Basically these men understood that humans were never intended to be property of the state or crown. Be it Socialism, Caliphates, or Aristocracies, humans were created to be free, not property. The founding fathers are not some historical anomaly based on demographics and geography. It was relevant then, it is relevant now.
Echoing Jefferson, Martin Luther King said “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” MLK, Jefferson, and Washington were all devout Christians, and by today’s standards, radicals. They all understood individual freedom was greater than themselves. That the State or Crown will always seek to be ultimate source of authority in life.
The Declaration of Independence itself sates “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We are created equal, and the rights we are born with come from our creator, not a crown or state. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or belief system, we are born free. Let me say that again we are born free. Enslavement comes from man.
On July 2nd 1776 , the Declaration wasn’t fully ratified until the 4th, for the first time in thousands of years, the small spark of American freedom told the oppressors and subjugators of the world “no more”. The Founding Fathers choose in the face of certain death, to no longer be any part of the oppression and exploitation of the crown.
They were not yet free, that perilous fight was yet to come. They were not liberated by an outside power, although the French would help. Webster defines Independence as “freedom from outside control”. On the 4th of July 1776, those who understood their place in history, told the most powerful government on earth, “no more, we are no longer under your control”. This is why the 4th of July is Independence day.
The history of the world has never been the same since. Today because of American involvement, democracy has replaced aristocracy and tyranny. Intellectual, religious, economic, social, and political freedom has never been more widespread in human history as it is now. This is a directly a result of American involvement.
This is why America is special, this is why we are exceptional, we fight for freedom, regardless of who’s it for. This fight for independence is not over. It might be in more peril than ever. Corrupt political aristocracies that flaunt their exemption from our laws, States within our own union that do not understand “shall not be infringed”, to a Caliphate that acts unrestricted and without remorse, all pose a threat.
John F. Kennedy said “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Remember on this day forward, in your place of work, the public places, the ballot box, or battlefield, our independence requires us to bear the burden, to pay the price, to oppose the foe.