Straight Up with Sherri

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Harder the Conflict, the More Glorious the Triumph.



"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain, too cheap, we esteem too lightly:--'Tis dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to set a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated....... I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
Thomas Paine-
The American Crisis (Also the author of Common Sense.)


Common Sense was published on January 9, 1776 and became an instant best seller. It was a 50 page pamphlet that outlined a strong case for the colonies to go to war, seeking Independence.

On the eve of such an historical event as elections in Iraq, I can't help but think of the courage of our forefathers. While most people I know talk much about George Washington, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere; the one man I remember the most is Caesar Rodney. Most Americans have no idea who he is, unless of course you have lived in Delaware. Let me share with you perhaps the most incredible story of a man that knew his purpose and life was bigger than himself.

It was late June in 1776, and Caesar was in Sussex County Delaware. Rodney was a
"Brigadier General of Delaware's militia, speaker of the state assembly which had also declared him as their leader. He was alternately in his seat in congress, and at work in Delaware, stimulating the patriots and repressing the royalists." He was also dying of cancer, when he received word from Thomas McKean that he was needed in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. It was made clear that without his signature, there would be no independence. The flesh on his face was being eaten away by this disease and he knew that if he signed the Declaration, he would never be able to return to England. The cancer would surely take his life. In spite of this fate, he mounted his horse and started on his journey for Philadelphia.

With cancer eating the flesh from his face and asthma gripping his every breath, he ventured onward through brutal humidity, thunderstorms, and torrential rains. He was racked with pain, sought by the British, and exhausted. The trip was not a simple ride on well traveled trails. He crossed rickety bridges, streams, and fields. He knew every hour and every one of the 80 miles were bringing him closer to signing his own death warrant, and bringing him closer to freedom.

Finally he reached Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Caesar Rodney staggered into Congress with only minutes left of the debate. Others in the room saw his condition and quickly came to assist him. His face was wrapped in linen, now covered with blood, sweat, and mud; in fact his entire body was laden with mud. It is believed he spoke these words as he cast his vote, "As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of independence, my own judgment concurs with them. I vote for independence," and then he collapsed.



Caesar Rodney cast the DECIDING vote.

My heart swells with utter pride and my eyes sting of tears when I think of this man's excruciating mission. Whenever I get a quarter, I check to see if it is his. Yes, the Delaware quarter features his valiant ride on its back. This is the epitome of integrity to me. He risked it all. He was dying of cancer. His only chance for survival was to go back to England, but he not only stayed and fought, but he gave it his all. What is more amazing is that Rodney was a 48 year old bachelor. In the 1700's, 48 was not a young age, and he had no wife or children to be leaving a legacy of freedom to. It was about his honor and duty, it was about freedom, justice, and liberty. It was about a dream.

In the years to come we will hear stories like these of the people in Iraq. They won't be riding horseback through streams and fields for 80 miles. They will be those that walked deserts, and stood in front of police stations that were the targets of choice for suicide bombings. They will be of women who dared to work in public or just leave their homes without covering their faces. We are in the midst of these great stories. Once again, America is leading the charge. We are helping others achieve the great history we hold so dear for themselves, as we did in Europe and Japan. They may not remember what our valiant and heroic soldiers did, and how our nation was ripped in a political fervor to make it all happen; but we will.

Rejoice in being an American today.

In the words of Thomas Paine, "We have it in our power to begin the world anew...American shall make a stand, not for herself alone, but for the world."

35 Comments:

  • Common Sense is one of my favorite books. There are three things that I like to relate to our present-day world.
    First is the issue of Kings where Thomas Paine refers to Samuel of Israel who was requested to become King, but he refused. Paine interprets, "And here we cannot but observe that their motives were bad, viz. that they might be like unto other nations, i.e. the heathen, whereas their true glory lay in being as much unlike them as possible." This really strikes me the same way the United Nations wanting us to be more like Europe and Africa. We are better than the rest of the world, why would we want to degrade ourselves to meet their standards. I believe that President Bush is trying to elevate others to our standards.
    Second, was the issue of America's value to the world. It was commerce because, "Her trade will always be a protection,and her barrenness of gold and silver secure her from invaders." Do you realize that before 1849, there was no gold or silver in America! It just didn't exist and anyone who said it did was lying or deceived. This is what I think of every time I hear someone proclaim, "There are no WMD in Iraq." Just because we haven't found them, doesn't mean they are not there. It means we're crummy prospectors.
    Third, pertains to the role of government in religion. Paine says, "As to religion, I hold it to be the indespensible duty of all governments, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do otherwise." This is not the "establishment" clause, but the "rights" clause that is so often overlooked or violated by activist judges.

    I believe that these three issues are pivotal in this weekend election for Iraq. Be better than your neigbors, control your resources and fight tyranny, and make certain that the new constitution respects the practice of religion while prohibiting theocracy.

    Sherri, thank you for the story of Caesar Rodney. Already we hear of stories of similar voters in the Iraqi election. Last night, there was a moving story of a slow-moving woman who was tortured while she was 6 months pregnant by Saddam's thugs. Through an interpreter, she told what this meant to her. We need "lots" of stories like this.

    . . Sorry my post is so long - I get carried away.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 11:28 AM  

  • Wow...what a post. But I still feel great fear for them. Change is painful and Iraq will be experiencing the kind of turmoil we can't even begin to comprehend. Ultimately they will have to be WILLING to make history for themselves. As ex marine I am proud that our fighting men are there to help make the difference.

    I read a bunch of your other posts. DAMN you can write kid!

    By Blogger Masculiste, at 12:11 PM  

  • You're overlooking the fact that Caesar Rodney was a traitor to the British Empire.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 PM  

  • Looks like 'Lizardoid Observer' is back to their old tricks at www.patriotboy.blogspot.com

    I have to say though, it made me laugh. What kind of idiot buys a Harley before they learn to ride a motorcycle!!!!

    No wonder I.F. is mad at L.S., you gotta admit he's a funny writer!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 PM  

  • - Actually he was a traitor to British tyrrany, which makes him a patriot in any true American's mind, but not of course if you're among the traitors too America. AssHats everywhere will dispare as freedom grows in Iraq. I will smile, and take pride and strength from the moral and decent sacrifices of true Americans. Men and woman who have given their lives so that millions can know freedom and even the vituperous, shameful, morally bankrupt, voices of the anti-American liberal bastards have the right to be heard in their collective misery. They enjoy the freedoms of the only country in the world where they could express such open contempt for those values that America was founded on, and which the vast majority of American's believe in and support. Simply put, for all the terrible "grievences" and screeching lies they toss around like pennies in a river, I don't notice very many of them anxious to move to France.....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 3:19 PM  

  • Hear here, Hunter. This is a fantastic example of point of view. And a part of it is that most "traitors" were at one time "great "patriots". I'm supposing that Caesar Rodney was a tremendous supporter of the crown in his younger years. Even Benedict Arnold was a terrific patriot until he screwed up the Canadian campaign, then got vindictive because he was castigated.
    I sure do enjoy your posts.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 3:34 PM  

  • I went to that patriotboy site and could not find out what the other poster was talking about? Hope your traffic gets heavier Sherri and people start hitting the tip jar to help you get some returns for all your research and efforts. I shall return.

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 6:51 PM  

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    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 7:02 PM  

  • Looks even like anonymous is trying to still make accusations and comments about Iron Fist. This person sounds like a stalker that is either infatuated with Iron Fist, or is scared to death and trying to muddy up the waters to make people antagonistic toward him. It is easy enough to find out where this person lives and what particulars about them need to be known. I know you are out there and I would suggest you back off son.

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:10 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:12 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:14 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:17 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:17 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:17 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:18 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:18 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:19 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:21 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 7:22 PM  

  • Hi, Sherri,

    Thanks for sharing the inspiring story of Caesar Rodney. My 5X great-grandfather was 70 years old when the revolutionary war broke out, living in North Carolina and suffering from lumbago, but he was a former colonel and came out of retirement to fight with the Patriots, God bless him.

    BTW, honey, it's Thomas Paine with an E.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:04 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 10:17 PM  

  • Hi, Sherri! Glad you're fighting back... maybe I can help (I work at an ISP... shhh).
    Check your email girl!

    Alice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 PM  

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    By Blogger jlfintx, at 10:22 PM  

  • By the way, Mr. Troll loser, I know firsthand what it's like when Iron Fist gets his hands on you (well, in you).

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 10:26 PM  

  • jlfintx

    lol-- the real one--lol

    no worries.. let it go-- I have been advised as exactly what to do and handle it.

    I will be thrilled to tell you how it all works out once it is all done. THis actually could have been one of the best things to have ever happened to me.

    just watch, wait, and see......

    GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:26 PM  

  • Sherri -- email me... I might be able to help (I work at an ISP)

    aliceharman99@mail.yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 PM  

  • - And that is the best argument in the world for TypeKey or at least some form of Email based registration for commenting....More and more sites are going to its use to cut down on the trolls.....

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 11:34 PM  

  • You know, reading the whole exchange above, I can't decide if Iron Fist was lying at got caught, or made the whole thing up to mess with the moonbats. I wish he'd say, because the way it reads is the first thing.

    Loyal LGFer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 AM  

  • "What kind of idiot buys a Harley before they learn to ride a motorcycle!!!!"

    I dunno holmes. Maybe the kind of idiot that sees a $29,000 bike on sale for $19,000. I could sell it right now for between $22-25K (you'll never get blue book).

    I'd rather learn how to ride it, though. It's not like I've never been on a motorcycle. Just never one this big.

    Sweet of you to be concerned, though.

    By Blogger Iron Fist, LGF, at 1:25 AM  

  • Iron Fist: Again you passed up an opportunity to clear your name, by responding to some rhetorical comment. Come on man, I'm really losing my faith here...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 AM  

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    By Blogger Iron Fist, LGF, at 2:32 AM  

  • Maybe the kind of idiot that sees a $29,000 bike on sale for $19,000.On sale? Uh, no. High retail on the 2001 model is 15,800. Max customization would add 30% to that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 AM  

  • Re blue book: Oops! Dang I've never seen someone lie/exaggerate/eat-their-words as frequently as Iron Fist lately.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 AM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:24 AM  



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