Freedom still rings in America
By Roger L. Thompson
On April 17, 1775, when the British tried to take the weapons from the Americans and fighting broke out and a shot was fired. This shot was later described as the “shot that was heard around the world.”
Whether it was pouring tea in the harbor or combat on the battlefield, Americans from the very beginning cherished their freedom.
Earlier in 1775 on March 23 at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry is quoted as saying “Give me liberty or give me death!”
As the founding fathers came together to craft the constitution that would guide the new country forward there were seven basic principles that formed the foundation.
On September 17, 1787, the constitution was signed forming the solid foundation that America still stands on today.
The Constitution rests on seven basic principles. They are:
Popular sovereignty: It is the doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people. President Abraham Lincoln echoed this principle in his Gettysburg address when he said, “that these dead shall not have died in vain– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. (U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863)
Limited government: Where the government only has the power delegated to it by the constitution.
Separation of powers, Federalism, which refers to the division and sharing of power between the national and state governments. Checks and balances: The three co-equal branches of government work to guarantee freedom and democracy for all.
Republicanism: The original definition of republicanism: “The Founding Fathers discoursed endlessly on the meaning of “republicanism.” John Adams in 1787 defined it as “a government, in which all men, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally subject to the laws.”
Individual rights: For instance, the Bill of Rights was passed because concepts such as freedom of religion, speech, equal treatment, and due process of law were deemed so important that, barring a Constitutional Amendment, not even a majority should be allowed to change them.
From the Revolutionary War to Global war on terror, the men and women in uniform fought for the freedom. Freedom that was guaranteed by the Constitution. Many came home wounded; some did not come home.
As we honor our veterans on November 11, we are reminded of the extremely high price of freedom. America is free today because of the sacrifice that was made and is being made by so many men and women in uniform.
Today, we are challenged in America. Some wonder how much longer the flag will wave, and America will be free. The answer is that America will remain free and Old Glory will continue to wave as long as we have honored the foundations America was built on and as long as we are still are willing to take up arms and defend the cherished freedom we enjoy.
Yes, it was a shot heard around the world in 1775. That shot still echoes today as our brave soldiers continue to leave their families, take up arms and fight for freedom. We give honor to whom honor is due. We honor our veterans. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your willingness to fight to keep America free.