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Celebrating the Fourth

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons Celebrating the Fourth A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. --Joseph Campbell
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2005
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      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      Celebrating the Fourth

      "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger
      than oneself." --Joseph Campbell

      Our troops were defeated and certainly discouraged. They
      were also trapped. They were no professional soldiers, but a rag
      tag group of farmers and laborers. They had been surprised and
      outmaneuvered as the British snuck up from behind and began the
      conquest. We simply were no match for the Brits, with their hired
      guns who were also arriving from Germany. Many Americans who still
      thought that the "King" of England was still there leader were only
      just beginning to realize that a real war and possible independence
      might take place. Initially, Americans didn't imagine breaking free
      from Great Britain, only wanting to protest the heavy taxations, and
      governmental appointments they didn't have any say over.
      They had been prepared to die for America's freedom, and die
      they did. In one unit of over 200 Americans, only 9 men survived, as
      fresh British troops kept arriving. There was only one thing to do,
      retreat over the East River, but if the British discover the
      retreat, half the remaining army will be completely vulnerable.
      General Washington decides there is no alternative. They must be
      swift and silent. Imagine retreating in small boats quickly with
      over 9,000 men, horses, and equipment with the enemy right on your
      tail. A heavy rain that night (yes, this was accomplished in one
      night!) would have brought catastrophe, but for a pea soup fog in
      the morning.
      Just after the largest battle of the Revolution, British
      troops arrived to find their chance for a final and sure defeat of
      American hotheads an utter disappointment.
      It was said that the Declaration of Independence was signed July
      4th, 1776, but was signed again in American blood on August 27,
      1776. But the fog was not the only miraculous occurrence. American
      heroes had fought the onslaught of British foes with almost super
      human strength and circumstances that in no way could be called
      luck.
      Nathan Hale, a Dutch schoolmaster and educated scholar, became a spy
      for the revolution in New York, though unprepared. Captured by the
      Brits, he was taken to the gallows on Sept. 22, 1776, and was heard
      to say just before his death " I regret that I have only one life to
      give for my country."
      Haym Salomon, a recent Jewish immigrant, personally financed over
      $700,000, while risking his life as a spy. After being arrested and
      convicted to die, he escaped, but refused freedom to continue his
      covert operations for America. He died penniless.
      Women, too, risked their lives working behind enemy lines to spy.
      One woman posed as a housekeeper, would hide in closets to overhear
      British maneuvers, and then would send messages to troops hidden
      inside large fabric-covered buttons.
      Posing as the enemy some American spies were hated by fellow
      Americans, had their properties seized, their families forced from
      their homes, and some even were brought to death by fellow Americans.
      Only later, in historical review, can we see the courage of American
      men and boys who paid in blood for our freedom, and are still paying
      today, God bless them. Our troops are fighting still with no less
      courage and sacrifice that our ancestors fought with.
      Unquestionably, God brought our country into existence, and worked
      through our young men, burying in their hearts the dreams of peace
      and freedom. May we not forget His hand that brought our great
      country into being nor those of the young men who paid the price for
      our freedom.

      Keeping it Simple,
      Sheryl
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