Declaration: Just the Beginning

July 4th 1776 men put words into writing, singed their names to it, and got busy laying down life as they knew it in order to have a way of life then knew they could not live without.

If they did not succeed, then July 4th would be the day they signed their death sentence. 

To them, the dream of independence was a goal worth that risk. Declaring it publicly meant there was no return to life as it was.  They sealed the course of their lives by publishing their declaration, an act of treason and the beginning of the fight of a lifetime; a fight to the death for a dream.

These men risked everything they knew to claim a vision, the promise of a nation born.  Declaring  independence was just the beginning.  Had they stopped at the declaration, they’d have died.  They’d have lost everything.

But they didn’t just declare their intention; they willingly sacrificed everything to see their declaration through. Setting a course that plunged them into 7 years of painful defeat, blow after blow.  Following a man who made mistake after mistake – mistakes that cost others their lives; cost families their fathers and sons, husbands and brothers.

Yet what they had declared they continued to fight for.  Regardless of the cost, oblivious to the penalty.  Defeat wasn’t enough to deter them from the course they had set; death wasn’t enough to  convince them to stop declaring freedom.  Independence for their families and grandchildren.  They stuck to what they had declared on July 4th, determined that one day celebrating freedom was worth the price they were in the midst of paying.

September 3, 1783 they discovered the fullness of their vision, their dream dropping into reality with bloodied limbs and aching hearts, it’s price extracted in the extreme.

We have no real understanding of what they gave us.  A legacy.  A home.  Their lives in utter chaos so ours would have the hope of peace.  They declared our Independence, and then they went out and sacrificed all shreds of comfort, ease and normalcy, winning it for us.  Not stopping when it got hard, became more then some could bare.

July 4th celebrates a dream worth dying for, set down in written declaration.  A dream worth uprooting what they knew and plunging down into depths beyond imagining.  July 4th declared our Independence, but did not allow us it’s benefits.  July 4th declared something that took seven years of gut-wrenching labor to see born into the reality we live today…

Today, what is it you dream of? It is worth putting down in writing?  It is worth years of labor and sacrifice, of turning life as you know it upside down until you claim it?   Is what you dream of costly enough to change not only your life, but possibly set the course of a nation?

Are we the kind of men and women who will willingly sacrifice everything for a declaration of a dream that millions after us will continue to celebrate?

“Many men declare a thing, but few have the courage to follow what they declare until it become what is true.  But, what kind of men does this make you?”  ~Anonymous 

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