Freedom wasn’t free…

Mt Vernon East with lavenderEditor’s Note:  Be sure to attend the re-enactment of the battles of Lexington and Concord at Mount Vernon East, between Sequim and Port Angeles just off the Old Olympic Highway sponsored by Dan and Janet Abbot at the Washington Lavender Farm, 939 Finn Hall Road, Port Angeles.  Admission only $10 per CARLOAD.  An exact replica of the Concord Bridge will serve as the site of the “shot heard round the world.”
Event Director, Dan Wilbanks from Oregon has been on hand for some time recreating the Old North Bridge, site of the “Shot heard round the world” which started the American Revolution and started America on its path to independence from Great Britain.  Wilbanks is a walking encyclopedia of information about the strategies, the personnel and the hardships of the continental armies.  He gets a faraway wistfulness in his eyes as he recounts events that happened on these battlefields long ago.
The Festival welcomes reenactors from as far away as Phoenix, AZ who represent the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of Militias.  Also on hand will be the Columbia Fife and Drum Corps to rally the troops as they reenact the battles of Lexington Green and the Old North Bridge.
The backdrop for the festivities is a replica of George Washington’s Home, “Mount Vernon” which the Abbots operate as a Bed and Breakfast.  They call it Mount Vernon East and, at least for this week, will represent the days of yesteryear at the birth of America.
The 4th of July
Author unknown

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Their story. . .Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven 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 McKeam 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 Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton , Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. 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 and his gristmill 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, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free! I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many people as you can, please. It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July means more than beer, picnics, and baseball games. True “reflection” is a part of this country’s greatness.

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