Pledging Their Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor
By Susan Steffen-Kraft
Our forefathers were well aware by signing the Declaration of Independence that if they lost the Revolutionary War what could happen to them. If caught, of course, they would be thrown in jail and according to history, traitors were many times hanged, drawn, and quartered. In fact, John Hancock had a price of 500 pounds on his head which shows you how bad the King wanted him.
Pledging your life. Our forefathers would have been punished if they would have lost the Revolutionary War. What they were doing was considered treasonous. If captured during the war can you imagine what the king would have had in store for them. Please try and think what it would mean to lose your life and fortune. Your life even if you were not killed would be changed. During this war many estates were burned, families driven into exile. The cattle that some owned were butchered to feed the British army. So yes, their lives were changed.
The above picture is of Richard Stockman who also knew that meaning. You will read more about him below. I picked him, but there were in fact seven of these men who never lived to see what they signed on the document. Seventeen of them lost everything they owned which was their fortunes, their states, everything — the British utterly destroyed them. Four of them lost their wives and four of them lost their kids. Five became prisoners of war. So if you think they did not understand what they were doing, think again.
But Sacred Honor and what it means? It means honesty, fairness and integrity. That embodies some of what sacred honor means. At that time, honor was regarded as not only a personal honor (knowing that you do the right thing at all times) but it is also your reputation.
They were willing to have that honor besmirched by the lies and the muck that would have been cast upon them had they failed. The Founders pledged their status as gentlemen with honor.
Honor sometimes drove men to duels per example defending a ladies' honor. In this case however, it would be for their beliefs and what they stood for. They were standing against the King of England and for this country to survive and become a country separate from England. They believed in honor and in acting honorably.
The word sacred actually means holding something holy and it is very special. Dedicated to God and to what they believed was a holy destiny. The holy and the divine is what they used when saying Sacred honor. Our forefathers would not back down and would not deviate from this cause they believed was right and just.
Under those circumstances how many men today would stand for these ideals and give up their money, lives and honor; very few I fear. To be frank, honor just plain means religious honor no matter which religion you were part of. That is how sacred they held this in regard. They had character which they would not violate in regards to this country and the documents they were signing.
It would take character to stand tall for a just cause. It takes character to tell the truth in spite of what might happen. They were telling the truth and stating their beliefs when they signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. If they had signed it and were lying. then what would have been the point to pledge their all?
For over a century, Americans learned what freedom meant and for the next two centuries they lived it. In this century I fear we are in danger of losing it. I see troubling times ahead for our nation and indeed we are in past the beginning of these troubling times if you have been following the news.
There is very little sacred or honorable in today's politics. Our forefathers would absolutely be disgusted if they could see how Congress, the President, and our Supreme Court acts. They pledge nothing to us and if they did I fear I would call most of them liars.
The Declaration says, in its second paragraph, that when a people is subjected to a long train of abuses aiming at absolute despotism, "it is their right, it is their duty," to change the government. This duty is higher than one's own personal survival or selfish interest. It may in fact require the sacrifice of one's own life. Honor and duty are superior to rights and self-interest which is what some people today believe the signers of that document believed were espousing; selfishness. That could not be further from the truth.
"The judge was dragged from bed and beaten, then thrown into prison. This distinguished jurist, who had worn the handsome robes of a colonial court, now shivered in a common jail, abused and all but starved.
A shocked Congress arranged for his parole. Made an invalid by the harsh treatment he had received, he returned to (his home at) Morven to find his furniture and clothing burned, his fine horses stolen, and his library — one of the finest private collections in the country — completely destroyed. The hiding place of exquisite family silver, hastily buried, had been betrayed by a servant.
The Stockton's were so destitute that they had to accept charity as the judge’s fortune was gone, too. He had pledged it and his life to his country and he lost both. He did not live to see the Revolution won". He died in fact, at age 51 which was way to young.
Thus he kept his honor but his life and fortune were gone because he truly embodied the Impossible Dream. He was put through Hell for a Heavenly Cause. No one said that Freedom is Free for it is not. The signers paid a price and made many sacrifices for this freedom that many so casually speak of today and little understand. Could we go back in time we would see and know what they truly went through.
God needs Men! Men who will stand for the right though the Heavens fall around them. " The world needs men and women... who cannot be bought; whose word is their bond; who put character above wealth; who possess opinions and a strong will; who are larger than their vocations; who do not hesitate to take risks; who will not lose their individuality in a crowd; who will be as honest in small affairs as in greater; who will make no compromise with wrong; whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it;" who are true to their friends through good and bad, in adversity as well as in prosperity; who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success; who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular; who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes".
This would describe beyond a shadow of a doubt the men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Examine deep down inside of yourself....are you such a man or woman?
1. The five point star on a blue background: is representative of Idaho’s star on the United States Flag, the #43, Idaho, July 3, 1890 denotes that we were the 43rd state to join the union on that date.
2. 1893 just above Meridian’s logo is when the City of Meridian was established.
3. The Pentagon shape represents the five branches of our services.
4. The words: Preserve, Freedom, Courage and Honor is the Mission of the Rock of Honor Memorial Inc, to preserve our Freedoms that have been handed down by our forefathers, guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and to Honor the people that have had the Courage to defend those rights. To Preserve and Honor the Memory of those who have died in defense of our great nation. To teach and pass on the rights and freedoms we have inherited. To demonstrate the Courage to Honor our veterans Preserving our Freedoms.
5. The wording is the inscription on the Rock of Honor written by John Harrington Burns.
6. The image above the wording is an image of the center stones at the Memorial.
cool quotes collection,