Today is Veteran's Day. Many thanks to those who chose/choose to give their lives in service to this country. All across the country there are celebrations, parades and well-wishes. There is one thing that we can all do to TRULY honor our veterans…get active and be vigilant! Believe it or not, President Obama has said that we cannot rely on our military to achieve our National Security goals. How right he is… How right he is...it takes ALL OF US!

patrick_henryLooking for something short to read on this day, I felt drawn to read Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech before the Virginia Convention. It was the most compelling speech given March 23, 1775 of which almost everyone knows the last line, "…but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" But, has anyone caught the rest of what he conveyed?

The speech we read today, which was not taken down word for word, was actually compiled by Henry biographer William Wirt. Wirt researched and interviewed people who knew Henry and scoured letters from the period to reconstruct what we read today. The importance and tone cannot be mistake, however. The colonial settlers were attempting to decide whether or not to defend their unique freedom from their own government…England.

We find ourselves in a similar situation. Our government turned on the population a long time ago, and people have been sitting silently by hoping the government would correct itself. If history tells us anything, it tells us we should certainly know better.

Henry talks about the Royal Navy amassing off the shores of this country, as he calls them "warlike preparations," his sentiment of which was, "Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation?" He later calls it like he sees it, "These are the implements of war and subjugation." How many of us read every day, about the police state tactics going on in the streets of this country right now? We depend on Posse Comitatus to keep our military off our streets, but how many of us remember that US NORTHCOM is present and training, on US soil, even as we speak? How many times has our own government stripped us of precious freedoms to implement a program that benefits the already powerful, leaving the working population to foot the bill?

As for our "foreign enemies," this country was founded on the principles of peace and non-interventionism. How do we know? George Washington's Farewell Address pretty much sums that up.

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

The truth is our founding generation committed treason against England to maintain their newly discovered way of life. My own extensive research shows that since the Spanish American War, factions, most of which were either businessmen or foreign governments, have convinced our complicit government to sell our own troops, many of who are barely adults, into grotesque wars under deplorable conditions to further their own agendas, of which, protecting our freedoms is hardly a part of the deal.

Maybe one of the most poignant parts of Henry's reconstructed speech is this:

"There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight!"

Henry continues by asking if the population can gather the strength needed to vanquish the enemies of freedom by indecision and inaction. Sound familiar? How many of us are willing to leave our freedom to someone else's actions? How many of us are willing to let someone else take up our rightful mantle as we sit back and ignore the egregious actions unfolding around us?

If we do not pull together against our tyrannical government, local, state or federal, we will lose our precious liberties. Henry tells us, in this very speech, "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." To win this war against our freedom, we MUST heed Henry's words and become active where we stand…locally. We must let that vigilance flow upward and out of our local cities, streets and counties to our state governments…and finally to the federal level. This takes active participation, open discussion and honest assessment of what is really going on around us.

Henry summed it up best, "For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and provide for it."

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