“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution.” –Joseph Warren (1775)
On Memorial Day, my son arrived at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. This Friday, we will join with other friends there to celebrate his graduation from Officer Candidates School. On Independence Day, he’ll be back home here in Tennessee for a brief bit of R&R.
It is altogether fitting that this young man, and all those in OCS/Platoon Leaders Class Lima Company, would begin and complete this arduous endeavor between two of the most auspicious days in our nation’s history.
These young Patriots, and millions of other young men and women who are dedicated to Freedom in their own spheres, form the bedrock of Liberty. They will take their oaths “to Support and Defend” that Liberty, as enshrined in our Constitution, at risk of their blood and lives.
Unfortunately, they enter the service of our nation at a difficult juncture, with military morale dampened under the “leadership” of a commander in chief who has routinely made a mockery of his own oath, who loathes our nation and its defenders, and as such is himself the greatest domestic threat to our Constitution and the Liberty it was enacted to protect.
A few months before the formation of the Marine Corps in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, friend of John Hancock and Samuel Adams, and a fellow member of the Sons of Liberty, offered these words in an oration on the Boston Massacre:
“Ease and prosperity (though pleasing for a day) have often sunk a people into effeminacy and sloth. The man who meanly will submit to wear a shackle, condemns the noblest gift of heaven, and impiously affronts the God that made him free… Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
Indeed, from the dawn of American Liberty, its future has rested in the hands of the few proud Patriots in any uniform and every walk of life.
In 1776, as it seemed our young nation’s beacon of Liberty was at risk of being extinguished, Founder Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
This past week, our Supreme Court issued multiple diktats that, in effect, overrule the Rule of Law in regard to the so-called Affordable Care Act and so-called “gay marriage.” These are both unfortunate examples of why Thomas Jefferson referred to the High Court as “the despotic branch.”
So yes, these are the times that try men’s souls. However, the hard reality is that for all times Liberty has been threatened by its antithesis, tyranny — and this will always be true. But as Warren noted, “[W]e have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution.”
Our nation has its origin in these stirring words from our Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
The enduring premise of our Declaration is found in these words: “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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Our Founders concluded their affirmation by attaching their signatures under these words: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
We have been, are and remain prepared to do the same, and if you are reading these words, you are also likely so inclined.
John Adams wrote, “But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
And thus it remains “in the minds and hearts” of tens-of-millions of American Patriots to this day, who stand unwavering in our devotion to Liberty and the legacy bequeathed to us by our forefathers.
As for this past week’s frontal assault on our Constitution, recall the words of George Washington in 1777, when the obstacles to American Liberty seemed insurmountable: “We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.”
Indeed, the only way to lose faith is to break faith, so let us never despair!
As Patriots, we start anew every day, doing all we can in support of Liberty, resting secure in the knowledge that we have left nothing on the field. We know the future of Liberty will depend on those few and proud Patriots who remain standing and steadfast in defense of the Unalienable Rights of Man.
At the same time, to avoid the tunnel vision associated with siege, we must never lose sight of so much that is good and right about our country. We understand that restoration and preservation of Liberty is a generational process and never rests on one political campaign or cycle. We believe, as Ronald Reagan said, “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.” We understand that there is no rest for Patriots.
On this, our nation’s 239th Celebration of Independence, I invite you to join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — and all who stand in harm’s way in defense of Liberty. Pray also for their families.
“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us.” —Thomas Jefferson
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis