The Fourth of July — Independence Day, came and went on Monday for most people, but for me, it is a constant reminder of who we are — or how we will be remembered.
The celebration was held in many parts of the area across the Roanoke Valley on various days, and as part of my job, I covered some of those events. Regardless of it being a job, it is something I love because it is an experience that I cherish. Though the Town of Weldon held its celebration on Saturday for the first time since 2019, in my opinion, it could not compare to the simple Littleton Patriotic Parade earlier that day. I don’t mean to disregard Weldon’s event at all, as it was eventful, but Littleton’s parade gave me great pride and joy seeing more U.S. and North Carolina flags being waved and displayed.
I know Hobgood is just as patriotic with their Independence Day celebration, yet I was not able to attend. But in other places, I wonder if the meaning of what we celebrate is becoming less important as I just don’t feel that patriotism like I did in Littleton. On my day off on Monday, I decided to hang at my usual spot at the Trophy Room, not wanting to see the firework display Halifax had down near the courthouse, but from the heart of the downtown area near where it all began.
Before coming to this area in 2018, I was ignorant of the Halifax Resolves, which is a resolution adopted by North Carolina on April 12, 1776, declaring the first official action in the colonies to call for independence from Great Britain prior to the official U.S. Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Learning about the Halifax Resolves verified my belief there are always steps to some form of declaration of independence that has a risk of life or death. As I sat there in the bar reflecting, I wondered where we are as a nation at this moment. I think it is obvious that there is a great polarization in the United States of what states are and what our foundation means.
I think it is evident that this divide is a natural occurrence in any society, nation, tribe and home. The struggle between preserving the culture or watching it erode by the powers of legislators and activists — is one and the same at this point, if you ask me. Why is it difficult to live with what was created? The answer comes down to influence outside of our home. Generation after generation has been manipulated and misguided against our founding principles and values. Our own turned against us, our parents, our elders, our morality.
These are not people who desire to possess the qualities that we have or who we are, but ones that are waging a silent war against our Republic and us. And as I sat there in the bar, I questioned why is there such a strong force from such a small group overwhelming those who want to preserve the Republic? In a way, it is their own declaration of independence — a revolution.
Yes, that is how dangerously close we are to losing everything. After 246 years, we are facing the brink of an all-out war that perhaps needs to happen. But who is going to stand up for the Republic? Who will declare that we will not fade silently into the past without a fight? I grow tired of the bravado and talk. I want the nation to feel what the Republic is again. I want it to take the reins of its heritage — our birthright, because we have as much right to live our way as much as anyone else, and I will not be ashamed of it. I want my country back. That is what I was reminded of on Monday — of how it was openly declared centuries ago that we are here and we are not going anywhere, for we are not the enemy but the rightful inheritors of this great Republic and a duty to preserve it.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Smith on Nov. 13, 1787, was in reference to Shays’ Rebellion, which was made up of mostly Revolutionary War veterans who opposed economic policies imposed by states that caused poverty and foreclosures of property.
Here is an excerpt from Jefferson’s letter:
“The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat, and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of its motives.
“They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
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