Dennis Johnson: We cast off King George; don’t let us return to dictatorship
So what did you do on the Fourth of July? What did the holiday mean to you and your family? Was it a long weekend, a picnic, a day trip to the lake? Perhaps it was a chance to check out a sale at one of the local shopping centers?
If so, you missed the point of the day honoring what is the beginning of what resulted in the “United States of America.” July 4, 1776, is the date of the Declaration of Independence, by which the united American colonies declared themselves free from the bonds of the reign of King George and his handpicked parliament.
The Declaration wasn’t just thrown together on July 4th. The sparks that ignited the flames of freedom started long before then. The Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress in Oct. 14, 1774, was the first formal list of grievances set forth for King George in an attempt to obtain for us colonists rights equal to those of the rest of the English subjects of the crown.
A number of infamous oppressive incidents preceded the gathering in Philadelphia that resulted in the Declaration of Independence. The Stamp Act, Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, known as Patriots Day. This year marks the 235th anniversary of that incident, which marked the “shot heard ’round the world.” History shows the colonists had made every attempt to resolve the differences with the mother country peaceably and without the force of arms. But, it was not to be.
For what purpose did those 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence pledge their “lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor”? What was it about the draw and desire for freedom of determining the destiny of this now to be formed country that was worth risking everything they owned and held dear to their hearts? The risk of losing everything was not restricted to the 56 signers. History shows many people lost everything for the cause of liberty.
What sacrifices would you be willing to make today for your freedoms, rights and protections of liberty as we know it? Do not mistake the question as a call for any manner of force, rather a call to reflect on what value you place on this country and all of its blessings.
This election year remember that one of the great byproducts of our independence is that we’re able to voice our opinion at the polls for the purpose of selecting those we want to represent us at every level of governmental actions.
We must never forget that we vote to pick our representatives, not our dictators.
• Dennis Johnson writes a monthly column on behalf of the Carson City Republican Committee.