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Download File The following is a KSCO commentary. Here is Kay Zwerling: This Fourth of July, once again we celebrated the birth of our Country. Actually, what we all really did was just get together with our family and friends, picnicking, barbecuing, and enjoying fireworks. This year our freedom from Britain seems even more precious because now many of us sense that we may be losing the Country and freedom we love so much. For over two centuries, we Americans have been so dazzled by our amazing United States, we never took the time to wonder how our Country really evolved. Have you ever wondered what happened to the courageous 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and what they endured, for us? Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned, two lost their sons serving in the Revolution Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.They all signed and pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to create a new nation.What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, 11 were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Carter Braxton, of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of eight other signers.Others suffered many hardships by the British before they died.Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. So, fellow Americans, take a few minutes next Fourth of July and silently thank these patriots. It is not much to ask for the price they paid so that several generations after them could enjoy the freedom of our wonderful Country. And, ironically, as we speak, we find we must now fight to keep the freedom we have, which is in grave danger of being tampered with by our present leaders. Remember, freedom is never free! And, kudos to my friend, Judy DeVillbis, for reminding us what the Fourth of July really means. For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling. copyright 2009

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