‘Let Freedom Ring’ this July Fourth
American freedom is the core value of which has often been tested in the past and unto today. One of the most poignant examples of our freedom revolves around events of the American Revolution. America’s 13 British colonies were tired of British authoritarian control over their lives. Americans embraced an honorable cause of revolt. They craved independence to make their own decisions, form their own government. Freedom was so dear to us that we fought the English against overwhelming odds and firepower. The cost in American and British lives and suffering was great.
Ultimately, true Colonial grit and perseverance prevailed. With France as an ally, commanded by their most famous officer, Maj. Gen. Lafayette, we eventually routed Cornwallis at Yorktown. That defeat proved to be the “beginning of the end” to British rule over American colonies.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was drafted. The British later surrendered all of their forces on Oct. 19, 1781, and it wasn’t until Sept. 13, 1787, that they recognized U.S. independence in the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Our freedoms have been tested many times since by foreign powers, by the threat of terrorism and by threats from within our own country. Such threats come from cultures and ideologies I fear will never be quelled, and so we must always remain vigilant and support measures to contain or neutralize those threats. It’s not going to be easy for they’re not going away.
Freedom should not be taken for granted, but cherished, due to the great sacrifices of those who have preserved our freedoms for so many decades and generations past, those who do so in the present, and for those who will do so in the future yet to come.
God bless you, patriotic readers, and your families. Have a great 4th of July weekend. Enjoy your summer and encourage your children to embrace American history, its military history and to fly our colors.
‘Til next time…
Vietnam veteran Larry Conklin is a Millerton resident and a member of both the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851 in North Canaan, Conn.