By: Carolyn Alder
“Memorial Day” was originally known as “Decoration Day.” Graves of soldiers who had given their lives in the Civil War were decorated with flowers to remember and honor their sacrifice. Later, the observance was renamed “Memorial Day,” to honor the sacrifice of all who died in all the wars. It is a day for solemn reflection on the service and sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve freedom.
Americans who died (from the Revolutionary War on) that we might have freedom:
Killed In Action over 1,354,000, plus 88,000 MIA.
(How can we even estimate the number wounded to preserve freedom?)
The Founders and Framers of this nation knew it would require much more than battle and blood to acquire and preserve freedom. They pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure the Blessings of Liberty for their posterity. The Declaration of Independence declares the principles of freedom; the United States Constitution was their charter to preserve freedom. We call it the Formula for Freedom.
The Founders also knew that we could not retain freedom, liberty and the American Constitutional Republic without being a virtuous and moral people. There are numerous statements to support this principle, however, just quoting from our first 3 Presidents:
President George Washington in his farewell address warned: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them (religion & morality). …Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (Sept. 19, 1796)
President John Adams stated, addressing the military, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. (Oct. 11, 1798) (Concerning his own sons he advised Abigail, “Let them revere nothing but Religion, Morality and Liberty.”)
Thomas Jefferson: “God who gave us life gave us Liberty at the same time.” (1774) “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the People that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (1781)
“There is no more ominous defilement of our Constitution and threat to Liberty ‘endowed by our Creator’ than that of the errant notion of a ‘Wall of Separation’ between our constitutional government and our Creator. … The plethora of fraudulent opinions by judicial activists have for decades ‘interpreted’ the First Amendment to suit their political agendas, placing severe constraints upon the free exercise of religion…to expel religious practice from any and all public forums.” Essential Liberty Pocket Guide
Our Constitution, written and ratified “in order to secure the Blessings of Liberty”, established a constitutional Republic structured to control the government, not to control the people. Laws made under the Constitution, the “Supreme Law of the Land”, were to be founded on God’s Law, natural law and natural rights; not rights invented by government or the “whims of man” by those in positions of power. God’s Law the Foundation of Free Government
John Quincy Adams, our 6th President wrote, “Our political way of life is by the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, and of course presupposes the existence of God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and government.” (Apr. 30, 1839)
Alexander Hamilton stated: “The law…dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.” (Feb. 23, 1775)
Justice James Wilson a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as a justice on the first U.S. Supreme Court wrote: “…all laws, may be arranged in two different classes. 1. Divine. 2. Human. … But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God. Human law must rest its authority, ultimately upon the authority of that law, which is Divine.” (James Wilson, Lectures on Law 1791) From the Pen of James Wilson
In short, we have been given a great legacy of freedom by those who came before us and paid the ultimate price. We can only repay that debt by our willingness to promote and restore freedom for those who will come after us. As General Douglas MacArthur stated, “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” (May 3, 1948)
By: Carolyn Alder www.freedomformula.us