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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Freedom's Cost

I read a story a number of years ago about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. I was moved by their dedication which seemed to mirror the American Spirit reflected by the military today. A historian told me later that some of the incidents could not be verified as true. It's not that these incidents didn't happen or the facts were distorted by the media back then, or that they were embellished by George Washington's press agent, it's just that they couldn't be verified. As we get ready to celebrate America's Independence, remember, we are "One Nation Under God." Also, look down the list of poems and you'll see one from June called, "Independence Day."

Freedom’s Cost

56 men signed a sheet of paper; they’d had it up to here.
They would stand for no more tyranny, and wanted to be clear.
56 men said enough’s enough, they pledged to fight or die.
But sometimes we forget the cost when Old Glory passes by.

Nearly half of them were lawyers whose income would be lost.
There were businessmen and farmers who heeded not the cost
but pledged their sacred honor, their fortunes and their lives.
Some lost all they’d worked for, some lost children; some lost wives.

Five of them were captured, they were beaten and were killed.
Another nine fought hand to hand before their blood was spilled.
A dozen had their homes burned down, four saw children die.
But none of them were ever heard to stop and question why.

We remember Boston harbor where the patriots dumped tea
and the bell that cracked while ringing out our new won liberty.
We remember Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and a few
who went on to shape the framework for a country that was new.

But no one seems to talk about the ones who fought and fell;
the ones who gave up everything, the ones who went through hell.
56 names on a declaration demanding liberty.
56 names remind us all that Freedom’s Never Free.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2000

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