Random header image... Refresh for more!
Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Posts from — December 2009

Alex Stephan on The Sacrifice for Liberty

Last month (November 11, 2009) our church, the Arnold Baptist Tabernacle hosted its annual Veterans Day celebration. We had a traditional roast beef dinner, desserts, a patriotic program and a speech given by Paul Curtman, candidate for state senate.
One of our young men, Alex Stephan 15 yrs, wrote and read an essay. His work I am posting here for your enjoyment. –Pastor Beller

Veterans Day Tribute, 2009
By Alex Stephan
The Founding Fathers of this nation were aware that signing a declaration of independence from Great Britain would be considered treason against the crown, punishable by death, but privately John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin began the fight for independence in the Continental Congress. By June of 1776 those three men had gained enough support in Congress, to call for a month long recess, to allow the delegates to return to their state conventions to attain that state’s acceptance or rejection of independence. When they reconvened in July 1776 the Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence by a vote of 12 to 0 in favor with 1 abstain; giving America a birth of freedom, and liberty; that liberty, that freedom, then had to be purchased by the blood, sweat, and tears of the soldiers of the Continental Army. During that eight year war 25,000 Americans died to purchase our liberty, and freedom. That was the price to end Great Britain’s tyrannical grip over America; that was the price of freedom.
The United States found itself in a second war with Great Britain, again because of the unlawful boarding and impressments the British Royal Navy was forcing on the American navy, and one remarkable day in 1815, in that war, the British Navy sailed into Baltimore Harbor with the intent to take Fort McHenry and demoralize America, but the Star Spangled Banner remained waving above Fort McHenry stating we would not bow to tyranny. Francis Scott Key, viewing this from a British naval vessel, received the inspiration to write the following words:

“O! Say can you see by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilights last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof thro’ the night our flag was still there;

O! Say does that star spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!”

The Civil War, begun on April 12, 1861, lasted four year. During this war over six hundred thousand American servicemen died- that is more than all the other American casualties of war combined; however the United States of America survived this war, showing, in the words of Lincoln,” A nation so conceived, can long endure.” The effects of this war were far reaching with, three percent of the population of the American states injured; 8 percent of white men between the ages of 13 and 43 dead, and reconstruction was imposed on the southern states, along with martial law followed with economic collapse.

On the date of April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on the Central Powers due to public outcry after the sinking of the Lusitania, and the sending of the Zimmerman Note. The War had already cost nearly ten million lives globally 6.8 million of them being civilian lives, and fifty- six thousand additional American lives were lost during World War I. America’s involvement undoubtedly ended the war much more quickly than it would have and saved millions more from dying; however, the Treaty of Versailles probably sped the coming of World War II.

On the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, there was a surprise attack from the Japanese Imperial Navy, the results of which was devastating. Four battleships and 2 destroyers were sunk; 188 aircraft were destroyed; 5 more battleships, 3 cruisers, another destroyer, and 155 aircraft were damaged, 2,402 people died along with 1,282 injured. So began America’s involvement in World War II. Pearl Harbor, D- Day, Guadalcanal, Monte Casino, Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, are just some of the names of battles fought by Americans to defend our freedom, and the lives of people around the world. Why did America fight in World War Two? It was because the freedoms of Americans were in jeopardy, and you took up the cost to defend it.

With the defeat of the Axis Powers came the rise of Communism and the beginning of the Cold War. The first of these wars was the Korean War. On June 25, 1950 North Korea invaded the Republic of South Korea, causing the United States, and the UN to take action against those invaders. With the cunning of General MacArthur the United States repelled the aggressors to the Far Northern parts of the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese and Soviets then involved themselves, pushing the free forces back into South Korea. Slowly the free forces regained the country and held the Communists at the 38 parallel. The South Koreans now live with freedoms unimaginable to the repressed peoples to the North because of the sacrifice you were willing to make for the people of South Korea.

America’s youth was in open rebellion, the political system was in turmoil, and America was again at war. South Vietnam was being threatened by the Viet Cong, and you answered the call once more. Your bravery and your resolve showed the world America was strong and not afraid of the Communist threat. Your sacrifice showed your devotion and bravery and America owes you her gratitude.

We awoke on September 11, 2001 as a country in peace and prosperity, but we went to bed a different nation. We were a nation that had just observed the most devastating attack on America in its history; we witnessed American commercial airliners- being high jacked by terrorists- fly into two of our office towers that were filled with innocent civilians. We watched in horror as a 757 crashed into the Pentagon. We watched as at the least 200 people threw themselves out of windows in excess of 1000 feet to keep themselves from being incinerated alive. We watched in terror as 2,976 innocent lives were taken and more than 6,000 people were injured, because of the extremist will of radical Islamic terrorists. Those events, still so lodged in our memory, prompted the world to war, that has cost this country such a great price. This is a war being fought so America and many other countries can be free.

What is this freedom that we cherish so dearly? What is this freedom why you sacrificed so much to protect? It is the freedom to worship God as your conscience dictates, it is the freedom of speech, the freedom to peaceably assemble and petition the government, it is the freedom to bear arms, it is the freedom to let your voice be heard, it is the freedom of your vote. This is your freedom. Because “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 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 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.”

“We the People” have so long lived under these rights and liberties because of your sacrifice and resolve for the freedoms of all Americans. It was because of you we can meet here tonight– which this freedom, to assemble in such manner, is illegal in more than 50 countries around the world. It is because of you I can stand here tonight and say thank you for all that you have done for us. On behalf of a most grateful nation we thank you for your sacrifices for our freedom that we hold so dearly.–Alex Stephan

December 6, 2009   Comments Off