As dusk descended with the setting sun on Sunday, July 3, the eve of our country’s 240th birthday, the sky took on the color of bright pink, deepening into a distinct red and then into a bold, blood red. It was a sight that lasted longer than usual and did not fade into nightfall.
Was it a force of nature or providential? It seemed to me a reminder of the blood that has been shed for our country, beginning with the members of the Continental Congress, the fathers of the Declaration of Independence.
They were men of wealth, prominence, position and education. When they signed their signatures, they did it with courage and conviction, knowing of the blood that would be shed. They could not live their lives with the unfair laws, regulations and injustices dictated by the King of England. They placed comfort and security second as they pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in support of the Declaration.
On July 4, 1776, 56 courageous members of the Congress stepped forward to place their signatures on a document that set the course of freedom in the American colonies. John Hancock, the governor from Massachusetts and first signer, penned his name quite prominently so that the King of England and ministers could see it without their spectacles.
History records that 24 of the signers were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were successful merchants, nine farmers and plantation owners, nine fought in the war and died from battle wounds. Five of the signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground. Others died in rags and poverty. They were men of honor, who gave up security for liberty.
Men and women who enlist into the armed services sign to defend our constitution to keep us free. With those signatures is the realization that they may shed their blood and sacrifice their lives so that we may keep the spirit of freedom alive.
Many say the American way of life, the American Dream, no longer exists. It is time to stop the complaining and take action with responsibility to obeying the laws of our land, exercising with clear heads and hearts our right to vote in elections, to give rather than take from society, to act sensibly and with respect in daily life to ourselves and others.
Most of all, stop defaming our country with negative comments. Stand tall and be a defender and rebuilder.
On the note of the blood red sky: I received a telephone call from my daughter Marilyn who was spending the weekend in Avalon, New Jersey and had attended the fireworks display there.
I began to tell her about the sky when she interrupted and told me they had seen the sky and her thoughts were also that it was blood red. “The sky reflecting on the ocean was inspirational,” she said.
I then related my thoughts that perhaps God was sending a message. “You may be right, Mother,” she said.