Happy, happy Fourth of July! Once again we celebrate the birth of our wonderful nation with fireworks, parades, picnics and other summertime fun.
And we do indeed have something to celebrate. Despite some tough times lately, our land is truly the land of the free, the home of the brave, and also the home of the prosperous and well fed.
Wonder how many nations in the world have so few homeless and hungry? Wonder where else in the world we can complain about being broke, and then realize there isnt room in the fridge for all the food we have to put in it?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
How can we ever thank God enough for assembling such an incredibly brave, intelligent and selfless group of men as He did back in 1776 when the Fathers of our Nation gathered to draft the Declaration of Independence?
Somewhere, back in the days of Adam and Eve, the ancestors of these men set foot upon the earth, carrying the genes that would be handed down until the time came for their greatness to grow in the fertile soil of America.
It cannot have been an accident. Surely we must understand that God provided for this to happen.
There, on this raw and untamed continent, a group of men, some well educated and some perhaps not, gathered to begin the creation of not just a new nation, but a whole new idea of government.
It is hard to realize today just how much these men risked by gathering together to discuss just what could be done about the tyranny practiced by Englands King George and carried out by his red coat armies.
If the Revolution had been unsuccessful they would doubtless all have been executed as traitors. Their fortunes would have been confiscated. It is possible even their families would have been killed. If allowed to live, they would have suffered dire poverty. Even granting the rebel families aid and assistance might have drawn the harsh disfavor of the British monarchy had the Revolution failed. But it did not fail, and America was born.
Where did their ideas come from?
These men grew up in different parts of the colonies.
They were not educated in the same schools, most likely did not read the same publications, and most certainly were not influenced by television or radio broadcasters since there werent any in those days.
Yet they came together to declare independence from England, and many of the later worked together to form the foundations of the most perfect government this world has ever seen.
How many of us have ever read the historic words over which these great men labored, and for which they risked their own rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
In their honor, lets do it today!
THE GREAT WORDS:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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 just 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 to 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Govern-ments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He (King George) has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturali-zation of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropri-ations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The brave men who signed were: President of the Third Continental Congress John Hancock, of Massachusetts, plus New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple and Matthew Thornton; Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine and Elbridge Gerry; Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins and William Ellery; Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams and Oliver Wolcott; New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis and Lewis Morris; New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart and Abraham Clark;
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson and George Ross; Delaware: George Read, Caesar Rodney and Thomas McKean;
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton; Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Carter Braxton; North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and John Penn; South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr. and Arthur Middleton, and Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton.
The signers included two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington was not a member of that group, but given the opportunity he almost surely would have been. Edward Rutledge, 26, was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin, 70, was the oldest.
Let us give thanks to Him who saw to it that these great men came together at the right time on the face of the Earth to form a new nation, and let us pray that those of us who follow are alert and aware enough to protect the Tree of Liberty that they planted and keep it growing!
Eight members of the Third Continental Congress never signed the Declaration: John Alsop, George Clinton, John Dickinson, Charles Humphreys, Robert R. Livingston, John Rogers, Thomas Willing, and Henry Wisner. In fairness some of these men disagreed with the sentiments and refused to sign, but others were away and missed the opportunity to go down in history on July 4, 1776.
John Adams said after America was born, You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it! May we always remember that and hold it as our sacred duty to protect that for which so many risked so much!
Enough on the serious side. Birthdays call for celebrating, and thats what most of us do on our nations birthday, our favorite midsummer holiday!
WISCONSIN BEER BURGERS
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 large onion, finely diced (or garlic salt)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 pound chopped, crisp cooked bacon
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
3 tablespoons beer
4 pats butter, very cold
4 hard rolls or Kaiser rolls
Catsup, mustard and sliced dill pickles to taste
Combine garlic, cheddar cheese, beef, beer and seasonings. In another small bowl combine the bacon, onion and cheese. Shape the ground beef mixture into 8 thin patties. Put bacon/onion/cheese mixture on four of the patties. Top with remaining patties and press edges to seal. Grill, broil or pan fry until well done, about 4 minutes per side. Top each burger with a pat of cold butter (Mickey Lou style) and serve on a nice crusty toasted hard roll. Pass the pickles, catsup and mustard.
RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY
Makes four easy and elegant patriotic servings, provided you use really pretty glasses.
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons currant jelly, melted
8 ounces softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 container frozen whipped topping (use 1 cup in the cheese mixture and save the rest for topping)
8 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
4 large juicy strawberries
Several reserved blueberries
Chop most of the blueberries very coarsely in the food processor, but keep a handful whole. Stir in the currant jelly and set aside. Chop or slice most of the strawberries but keep four nice ones whole. Stir in the sugar. Set aside. In a mixer bowl beat softened cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Fold in one cup of the whipped topping. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the graham crackers into each of four 8 to 10 ounce glasses, preferably the stemmed or sundae kind. Spoon into each about a quarter cup of the blueberry mixture, add about a quarter cup of the cheese mixture, then the rest of the crumbs, followed by about a quarter of the strawberry, cream cheese, etc. until everything is gone. If you dont have enough cheese mixture to keep the layers separate, use some plain whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate for about six hours. At serving time, top each glass with a dollop of whipped topping. Stand a bright red strawberry in the center, and scatter a few of the reserved blueberries around. Happy birthday America!
Thought for the Week: Thank you, God, for giving us this wonderful land to live in, and the freedom to worship You as we see fit. And please give us the wisdom and the courage to keep the freedoms that You have blessed us with. Happy Birthday, America!
(Column written by Shirley Prudhomme, Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)
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