Abraham Lincoln was dedicating a battlefield in Pennsylvania. His words, actually only a footnote to the address given by Edward Everett which lasted 2 hours, were brief, but profound. Edwards was a known orator, and his 13,607 words were sculpted and beautiful.
Lincolns short, 272 word oration has been memorized by thousands, if not millions, of school children since, while Edwards tremendous work is all but forgotten.
But a part of that text stands out...
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
Benjamin Franklin said:
...a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles...is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep a government free.
We are now engaged in a difficult transition, not a war, but just as surely a defining time. No one seems happy with the direction our great Nation has taken recently. It is time to do as Franklin suggested, and return to fundamental principles.
Those basic principles were well enumerated by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
When we have questions about what is wrong with our country, those should be the documents we check first!
If the press is not free, something is wrong.
If honest men are not allowed to protect themselves against those who wish them ill, something is wrong.
When the government quarters troops against the will of homeowners, something is wrong.
When peoples homes are not protected against unreasonable searches something is wrong.
When people have lost due process, or the right to a speedy trial, something is wrong.
When bail or punishment becomes excessive or cruel, something is wrong.
When rights not specifically enumerated are legislated against, something is wrong.
How many of those things have been violated recently? How many are violated on any given day?
Do you see your rights and actions being dictated by laws that contradict your rights enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Do you know these two vital documents well enough to even recognize when you are having your rights violated?
Benjamin Franklin said:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.
Are we allowing this to happen to us, hoping for more safety and protection from bad things and people?
Something to think about!