Let the eagle scream.
Reflections on the continental army.
Keep her rolling.
Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver (There are fine stories in the comments).
A Beautiful Place
The Glorious Fourth of July!
Why We Fight
Thanks for the great reading, Adam.
I love the 4th of July! Happy Independence Day to all of you!
It was 26 years ago this day that my mom, my sister, and I arrived in the United States from Romania.
One of the best recollections of Independence Day was offered on a cold day in November, 1863, by Abraham Lincoln, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln saw the need to maintain a unified and strong United States in order to demonstrate that the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence could be embodied in a real nation, so that the rest of the world could see that then-still-radical notion that “all men are created equal” is not a recipe for endless dissent and secession and chaos, and that “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” could be a form of government that could endure and be adopted by other nations around the world.
While we properly honor Lincoln for using the Civil War as an opportunity to end slavery and create a legal foundation for racial equality, both Americans and others give too little credit to his initial and primary goal, of preserving a nation both unified and democratically governed. If the Confederacy had won, secession would have continued its course within both the CSA and the USA, with the national governments so weakened they could accomplish little. By the time of the Japanese imperial conquests in the pacific and the German conquests in Europe, there would have been no strong United States with the unity of will and material capacity to take on both new empires and defeat them, and then turn them into leading democracies. There would have been no unified America to serve as an inspiration to the captive nations of Eastern Europe and bring about a quiet revolution that ended the Soviet Union.
Today, billions of people live in nations that strive for democratic ideals of governance “by the people” because of the inspiring example of the USA, the direct use of USA military and economic power to support freedom, and the function of the USA as a “world nation” with immigrant ties to cousins all around the globe, ties that infect the people of ancestral homelands with the desire for freedom and equality and democracy. The Declaration of Independence rightly announced that the reasons for independence were universal principles that apply, not just to descendants of English colonists, but also to “all men” who are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” which belong to them and not to any form of government.