“The surrender at Saratoga” shows General Daniel Morgan in front of a French de Vallière 4-pounder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past weekend We celebrated Memorial Day here in the States, a day to stop and thank all the veterans that fought to keep this country safe and free. As part of my celebration I spent Sunday at Greenfield Village, thy have a Civil War remembrance weekend, the village is one large encampment of Civil War tents and solders. It is awesome to see. It wills me with pride to know I live in a land that fought for freedom and preserves freedom. America is not perfect, no country is, but to me she is the model of perfection for nations to follow.
Freedom is a slippery thing, you can lose it faster than you gained it. For over 200 years we have been fighting for our freedom, fighting to maintain it and preserve it for generations yet to come. As Americans, we all to often get complacent with our freedom, we expect it to always exist, with little to no work on our part. But weekend such as Memorial Day as there to remind us that Freedom is not free, is not guaranteed and can be lost.
As a free nation, a free people we have responsibilities, to each other, our nation and the world. For with great freedoms comes great responsibilities. We are leaders, by our very nature, we are Americans and Americans have always been adventures and risk-takers.
Consider this, this great nation was built upon the backs of explorers, people wanting a new life, people willing to live in extreme conditions to gain this new life. They not only wanted change, they also created the change they sought.
Leaders are people who don’t avoid change, they take it head on. This nation was built upon the principle of leadership. The Pilgrims did not need self-help books to read on the Mayflower, they did not hold group sessions about change or have little motivational posters to remind them that change is good. It was in their blood, they sought it out, forged the path and built upon it.
Setbacks were expected and met with courage and fortitude. The early settlers looked upon America and a change to change and grow, to become a free people able to map out their own existence, one free of the tyranny of the Mother land. Yes, they where British, French and Spanish and proud to be so, yet they were willing to leave all behind to experience personal and spiritual growth.They set up new governmental systems and experimented with the human condition, they allowed the human mind the freedom to thing and grow, they established colonies based upon these ideas, some thrived and some failed, yet they did not give up.
The revolutionary war was fought primarily to allow America to grow, to allow her people to live free. The Founding Fathers did not set out to carve out a new nation, they originally set out to get representation, fairness from the King. They were proud English men, willing to fight for the King, but unwilling to be the step child of the most powerful Nation of its time. They were willing to risk all for the basic rights enjoyed by their fellow English men.
The idea of a new nation, and American Nation was not part of the original plan, but being leaders they were able to adjust to the situation, to see the opportunities before them and to visualize the benefits of freedom. The Revolutionary War was about more than just taxes, the British had already removed the taxes that were in question. The Tea Tax was truly a moot point, the amount was trivial, but what it represented was monumental. The America people were tired of tyranny and deception, there were ready to self govern and willing to die to achieve the goal.
Don’t tread on me was the battle cry of a Nation being born, born out of the minds of great leaders. The American experiment was about to happen, and the founders knew they needed to lead this change. The “grass roots” effort was born. The printing press was the Facebook and Twitter of its day, Thomas Pane and many others took to the press to write the bold plans of Independence, they used the written word to rally the nation and to lead us into change, change that would prove to be historic and universal.
From the Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers Americas psyche was forged. The backbone of America was created off the sweat, blood and tears of our great leaders, many of whom we will never know by name. Our courage was handed down generation to generation and our love of Freedom is in our blood. The American spirit is one of Adventure and Leadership, we are willing to lay our lives down, not for man, but for an idea, the idea that humanity is born to be free. We do not offer up our lives to a King or President, but to a greater good, the good of all.
Great leadership has built this nation and lack of leadership will be its downfall. As President Reagan said:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
40th president of US (1911 – 2004)
We are a people of leaders, a people of change a people of freedom, let us never forget that…