Have you ever wondered what happened to those men
who signed the Declaration of Independence?
THE PRICE THEY PAID
Five signers were captured by the British and brutally tortured as traitors. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Continental Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six signers fought and died from wounds, or the hardships of the American Revolution.What kind of men were they?
24 were jurists or lawyers.
11 were merchants
9 were farmers or large plantation owners
These were men of means and education. Yet they signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing full well the penalty would be death if they were captured. When these courageous men signed they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of freedom and independence. Carter Braxton was a wealthy planter and trader. One by one his ships were captured by the British navy. He was forced to sell his plantations and mortgage his properties to pay the mounting debts. His remaining estate was finally seized. Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he had to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Continental Congress without pay and he kept his family in hiding. Vandals, or soldiers, or both looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Ruttledge and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over his family home as headquarters. Nelson urged General George Washington to open fire on his own home. Francis Lewis also had his home and property destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife and she died within minutes. Such are a few of the stories and sacrifices typical of those who risked their all to sign the Declaration of Independence. These were not wild-eyed rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft spoken men of means and education. They previously had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight and unwavering, they pledged:
"For the support of this declaration, with a firm relianceon the protection of the Devine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." Character does count
The terms "Minutemen' and "Militia" are often thought of as one and the same. However, in early America--especially in the 18th century--there was a distinct difference. Minutemen represented a small handpicked force selected from the ranks of local militia companies and regiments. approximately one-third of the men in each militia unit were chosen "to be ready to march or fight at a minute's notice." The true Minutemen--always the first to appear at or await, a battle--stood at Lexington Green on the morning of April 19,1775, and led the attack on Concord Bridge. Their numbers were reinforced by the regular militia that turned out in that day's historic battles. Actually, the concept of Minutemen existed in America as early as the 17th century, while the term itself came into use in 1759 during the French and Indian War. The title "Minutemen" was formally adopted the year before the American Revolution started. At that time, in October of 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts voted to enroll 12,000 men under the title of Minutemen-volunteers who would be ready, at a minute's warning, to take to the field with their arms. After Congress authorized a Continental Army under the command of George Washington, Minutemen units eventually ceased to exist. But, their contribution as a trained and battle-hardened corps of veterans was an important and significant force as patriots took up arms to oppose the British Army in the Revolutionary War.
(Source: Archiving Early America)SYMBOLIC
Did you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776? Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd 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 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens resting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th 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 6th 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 the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th 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 8th 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.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and mothers. 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 10th 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 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or 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. There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have important deep meanings. In the future, when you see flags folded, now you will know why.
(author unknown)CREATION OF THE ELKS
At the Grand Lodge Convention in 1961 at Miami Beach, the committee on Americanism was created and charged with "implementing the patriotic activities of the Order and its subordinate Lodges." The creation of the Elks Americanism Committee in 1961 met an important need in a critical time in our history. The Committee provided our Lodges with constructive and definite programs for strengthening the spirit of American patriotism in their communities, and vigorously promoting their use. The response of our Lodges was both prompt and enthusiastic, and the result has been a tremendous expansion in the Order's patriotic activities... and a major contribution to the security of this nation. Our Government has, time and again, enlisted the aid of the Order in patriotic undertakings where civilian cooperation was deemed essential. Membership in the Order of Elks is a "badge of citizenship", for none but an American can be an Elk. "Love of Country, home and Mind" are its principal tenets, and our country's flag is raised in silken benediction over the Altar of every Elks Lodge. With its all pervading spirit of good will, the Order makes an irresistible appeal to men and women who deeply love their country, cherish fraternal association, and welcome an opportunity to serve their communities."The Order....and World War Two"
On December 7, 1941, Japan struck at Pearl Harbor and America was at war. Bombs were still falling when a message from the Grand Exalted Ruler, placing the resources and manpower of the Order at the command of our country, was on the way to the President. An emergency session of the Elks National Defense and Public Relations Commission was immediately called, at which time it was renamed the "Elks War Commission". The necessity of a war chest was recognized. As a nucleus, the Elks National Memorial and Publication Commission contributed $25,000 and the Elks National Foundation and Queens Borough Lodge No.878 donated $5,000 each, a goodly sum at that time. The Elks War Commission was authorized by the Grand Exalted Ruler to appeal to all Lodges for contributions to the War Fund, and an immediate response indicated the wave of patriotic fervor sweeping the Order. Among the outstanding contributions of the Elks to the country was their effective contribution with the armed services in recruiting programs. Impressed by the great success of the members of the Order in securing men for the Aviation Cadet Corps, the Adjutant General of the Army requested the Elks War Commission to assume a major responsibility for enlisting 45,000 men urgently needed for service in aviation ground crews. A prompt and effective response in excess of 97,000 suitable men were secured. One of the earliest and most rewarding activities sponsored by the Elks War Commission was the shipment of "G" gift boxes to members in the armed forces. These unique folding boxes were sent to each Subordinate Lodge to be filled with candies, handkerchiefs, shaving equipment and other useful items. Thousands of "G" boxes were mailed to Elks and their buddies both overseas and at home. One hundred thousand Elks wore the uniform of our armed forces in World War II. Eighteen hundred died for our country. The wartime activities of the Elks were inspired by the spirit of patriotism, which is the Order's proud heritage. To their valor the Elks Memorial is dedicated.
(The foregoing are excerpts from the book "Elks Veterans Memorial)GOD BLESS AMERICA
Patrick Henry, (1736-1799) American Patriot.
Ordinarily only the single statement by Patrick Henry "Give me liberty of give me death" is attributed to him. I feel it to be equally important to mention a select number of lines from his famous address seldom quoted, most especially for his firm belief in a just God. "We shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations ...the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides sir, we have no election. (choice) If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable--and let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no Peace! The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!Our Brethren are already in the fields! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!GOD BLESS AMERICA!"
(author unknownTrue Americanism in action...."TOYS FOR
"Toys for Tots" began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR and a group of Marine reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 Toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill's wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947 Diane handcrafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization to give to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill he should start one. The 1947 campaign was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted "Toys for Tots" in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted "Toys for Tots" campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located. Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns each year at Christmas since 1948. The initial objective of the program today is to "bring the joy of Christmas to America's needy children. In 1948 Walt Disney designed the "Toys for Tots" logo. Disney also designed the first "Toys For Tots" poster to promote the now nationwide program. Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone recorded the "Toys for Tots" theme. Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen and Kenny Rogers are but a few of the long list of celebrities who have given of their time and talent to promote the national program. First Lady Nancy Reagan served as the national spokesperson in 1983. From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys. On Reserve drill weekends during October, November and December, Reserve Marines refurbished the used toys. From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys. Distributing "Hand-me-down" does not send the message Marines want to send to needy children. The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will build self-esteem and, in turn, motivate needy children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. A shiny new toy is the best means to accomplish this goal. In 1997 the Marine Corps celebrated the 50th anniversary of "Toys for Tots." The 2000 Toys for Tots campaign was the most successful campaign in the 53 year history of the program. Local campaigns were conducted in 350 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" program is truly, beyond any doubt, an outstanding example of the wonders of Americanism in action. John Hancock - American Patriot First Signer of the Declaration of Independence
John Hancock (1737-1793) was both an American merchant and statesman. He was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, always lived in that state and passed away at Quincy. Hancock graduated from Harvard in 1754 at the age of 17, he then learned the business of an importing merchant in the counting house of an uncle, who later left him money to carry on the business. Hancock became the wealthiest merchant in the city, while his friend Samuel Adams was without hardly a dollar, yet it was difficult to say which of the two men was the most fiercely devoted opponent of Great Britain. Both were members of the Massachusetts General Court. Both sat in the Provincial Congress. Both were honored by General Gage as the two rebels "whose offenses are of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration but that of condign punishment." Both were expressly omitted by name from an act of general amnesty with which the British government sought to conciliate the colonies in 1775. From the beginning Hancock was in the thick of the contest. He owned the sloop Liberty, whose seizure brought on the "Riot of 1768". He also demanded the removal of troops after the infamous "Boston Massacre". Hancock delivered a fiery address at the funeral of the victims of that affair. Hancock was President of the Continental Congress, and his bold signature appeared prominently on the Declaration of Independence. He was the first governor of the state of Massachusetts. None doubted the strong patriotism and strong common sense of Hancock. His wealth, education, social standing, determined character and reputation for strong integrity were of undisputed and incalculable service to the American cause. Hancock was yet another example of those who risked their all to insure the future freedom of generations yet unborn.
(author unknown)"I AM YOUR FLAG"
Some people call me 0ld Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I am your Flag -- the Flag of the United States of America. Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you, because you see, it is about you and me. I remember some time ago people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade and, naturally, I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze. When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his hand was directly over his heart -- remember? What happened? I'm still the same old Flag. Oh, I have a few more stars since you were a boy and a lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street and you just stand there with your hands in your pockets, I may get a small glance and then you look away. Then I see children running around and shouting -- they don't seem to know who I am. I saw a man take his hat off, then look around. He didn't see anybody else with theirs off, so he quickly put it back on. And what about that night at the ball game, when they played the "Star Spangled Banner" and I waved so proudly in the breeze, but nobody bothered to sing? Oh, they stood up, all right, as sort of a mild patriotic gesture, but then they talked among themselves about the game and weather, but they did not sing. I felt hurt. Is it a sin to be patriotic? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I have been? Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf. Take a look at the memorial honor rolls sometime -- names of those who never came back -- who gave their lives to keep this republic free. One nation, under God. When you salute me, you are saluting them. I may not be coming down your street for a long time, as it seems that patriotic parades are a thing of the past. But when I do, will you do me a big favor? Stand up straight, place your right hand over your heart, and if they play the "Star Spangled Banner," sing out loud and clear. I will salute you by waving back.
Show me you remember I AM YOUR FLAG.
How, a non-Elk might ask, do Elks actively promote and further the goals of Americanism? What should your reply be to those having little awareness or knowledge of our programs? First, and foremost among the activities promoting American ideals is the annual "Elks Flag Day Observance" recognized by Lodges nationwide in demonstrating a reverence and respect of all Elks for our national ensign, the Stars and Stripes. Another significant program initiated by Elkdom and carried to completion annually is the nationwide "Americanism Essay Contest." This coast-to-coast essay competition for school-age children awards prizes on the local, state and national levels for the best essays pertaining to the subject selected for the year. Additional Elk activities which promote both clean living and Americanism ideals among the kids are the annual Elks Drug Awareness program, Hoop Shoot competition and the Soccer Shootout. So, remember, when a non-Elk asks how Elks promote Americanism, you can give he or she the answer they deserve. (While you're at it slip them an application.)
If you want your father to take care of you, that's
If you want your mother to take care of you, that's Maternalism.
If you think "if it feels good do it" regardless of the consequences, or who it might hurt, and are in this thing just solely for yourself, that's Individualism.
If you want "Big Brother" to take care of you, to depend on the government for everything, don't know the difference between entitlements and benefits, and you believe an all-powerful central government is totally responsible for your well-being, then that's not only stupid, but that is
If you want "your comrades" to take care of you, and everything you do, and all labors you perform, are solely and inequitably possessions of the State, having absolutely no individual choice in your future existence, that's
But, if you want to take care of yourself be responsible for your own behavior, hold yourself responsible for your own actions, feel a responsibility to be a good and productive free citizen promote the betterment of mankind and bring honor to the greatest country on the face of the earth, within our wonderful unmatched and unparalleled Constitutional Republic then that, my friend, is Americanism
(author unknown)I Stand for Freedom
I was blessed with a gift when I came to be, I'm honored and proud of the name given me, Because it is recognized by every one, My name is America, and I Stand for Freedom, By boat many people first came to my shores, They dreamed of a new life as they entered my doors, Honor and glory is the reason they had come, For I am America, and I Stand for Freedom. Over the years, through battles and wars, I've sustained my burdens with wounds and scars, And I will never give up; never will I run, For I am America, and I stand for Freedom; But someone has now desecrated my soul, Disrespect and hatred have left a deep hole, I cannot forgive them for what they have done, They envy America, because I Stand for Freedom; So now I am weeping for all of your sakes, But keep close to God, for you must have faith, Believe that good will prevail; you must remain strong, I am America, and I Stand for Freedom.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
God Bless our men and women in the service of their country. We just can't let them down. Join the crusade--keep Veterans Day for the Veterans!!! It has been said what goes around, comes around. The following was written by Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1865. To me it seems to fit our circumstance today.
With malice toward none; With charity for all; With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, Let us strive on to finish the work we are in; To bind up the nation's wounds; To care for him who shall have borne the battle, And for his widow, And his orphan----- To do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, And with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 1865
Here's a "Spirit of 9-11" graphic that the US Air Force has adopted as its symbol of the war on terrorism. The words were made famous by Todd Beamer, a passenger on Flight 93. Beamer, a 32-year-old businessman, Sunday school teacher, husband, father and hero, led other passengers in fighting terrorists for control of Flight 93 before it crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania. He was overheard on a cellular phone reciting the Lord's Prayer and saying "Let's roll!" as passengers charged the terrorists. The graphic was painted by TSgt. Tim Dougherty of the USAF. The Thunderbirds and other Air Force demonstration teams will apply this nose art on all aircraft, while major commands and wings will be authorized to apply the nose art to one aircraft of their choice. This will join the other famous paintings on the noses of our fighters and bombers over the years
Reprinted from Mountain Home Arkansas Lodge #1714