“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.” President Calvin Coolidge.
Ours is both the shortest and oldest working constitution in the world. It is a model of democracy for many nations. But we must acknowledge that the vast freedoms we enjoy are the direct result of the Founding Fathers’ sacrifices and the ongoing commitment from our military to our enduring rights.
When the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their property. And most of them paid that pledge: dying for liberty and losing their homes and fortunes.
It is deeply ironic and perjurious to paint the Founding Father as self-serving aristocrats. In reality, “9 signers paid the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – for the cause of Independence. 17 (almost 1 for every 3 who signed) lost every penny they had and every piece of property they owned. Yet not a single one reneged on their pledge to stand “for the support of this Declaration”’
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
The Constitution and the sacrifice of our Founding Fathers is a supporting skeleton that frames the body of our liberty. Therefore, to our marrow we must devote ourselves to promoting and preserving their legacy of freedom not just for ourselves but that all may enjoy liberty and justice.
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