On This Day, We ‘Pledge Ourselves to Each Other in the Cause of Human Freedom’

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Declaration of Independence

Ronald Reagan July 4, 1986.

The reason John Hancock wrote his signature in large script when he signed the Declaration of Independence, Reagan said, was so King George, who wore glasses, could see it without his glasses. All the signers knew the penalty for high treason. Still, they signed.

Reagan reminded us, “We must all hang together, or we will all hang separately,” Ben Franklin said.

He asked us to listen to the following words again.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

He hoped that all nations would know freedom.

The only permanent danger that comes to the hope of America comes from within, Reagan said. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson learned this lesson when partisan politics began to get in the way of their new country. They fought each other in a vicious campaign for the presidency. After a bitter election and decades of anger between them and not speaking, they began to speak again. They didn’t stop speaking of all they had shared.

Their tolerance and forgiveness was a lesson to us – a gift. They died on the same day on July 4th, within hours of each other, fifty years to the day of American Independence.

Far more unites us than what little divides us.

What is most important to us is the “right to self-govern.”

“Tonight, we are to reaffirm, that Jew and Gentile, we are one nation under God, the Black, White, we are one nation indivisible, that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart in hand, to whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other in the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world. My fellow Americans, we are known around the world as a confidant and happy people. Tonight there is much to celebrate, many blessings to be grateful for, so while it’s good to talk about serious things, it’s just as important and just as American to have some fun…”

The next video is classic Ronald Reagan on a time for choosing. There is a point beyond which they must not advance, he said of the enemy of the day. He quoted Churchill, “We’re spirits, not animals,” Churchill reminded us, and we have “a rendezvous with destiny”. We still do.

We might not fight it with guns, but we must fight it.

I am not promoting Ted Cruz in the next video, I’m promoting the information about the American signers which he shared during the filibuster a year ago.

On August 2nd, the signers met to sign the Declaration of Independence.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island was curious to see the signers’ faces as they committed the supreme act of personal couragehe saw some men sign quickly, but in no face was he able to discern real fear.

Steven Hopkins signed with a shaking pen, “My hand trembles but my heart does not. Most glorious service.”

Before the list was published, suspected signers were hounded or imprisoned, their lands destroyed by British soldiers.

William Floyd was able to escape, where they lived in Connecticut as refugees for seven years without income, and came home to a destroyed home and lands.

John Hart of New Jersey risked his life to see his dying wife. After being hunted, in an emaciated state, he reached his devastated estate, his wife was buried and his thirteen children taken away. He died a broken man in 1779, never having seen his children again.

There are many other stories outlining the sacrifices these men made so we could be free, some of the stories can be heard in this video. It was during the filibuster but I didn’t catch all of it.