Power of the Pen and … Birth of America
Powerful words not only change lives, they also built a nation… ours.
Patriots galvanized public opinion with influential writing. Take a minute … see how the [quill] pen was more powerful than that proverbial sword.
“You say you want a revolution? Then get yourself a front man, a rock star, and a phrase-maker who can shake, rattle and roll the masses with a few well-chosen words.” These are the opening lines describing Thomas Paine in Time’s book, The Making of America: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Nation. independence from Britain and its monarchy so convincingly that it rallied tens of thousands of Americans to the cause.”
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia contributed that momentum, lighting the figurative fire cracker with his succinct, powerful motion to Congress on June7, 1776, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
The motion passed … barely … with a vote of 7 to 6. But, it sufficed. Congress tasked a committee to draft a declaration.
The fiery red head from Virginia, recognized as a brilliant writer and known for his views opposing the monarchy, was tapped for this job. Assisted by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson labored for 17 days … leveraging powerful concepts from great philosophers such as John Locke and honing words that endure to this day. And, John Adams was right …
John Adams recognized history in the making and shared this in a letter to his wife. While he missed the projected date by 2 days, his assessment is spot-on:
“The Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games and sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.”
Honoring those who have served our country and those who serve her today, I highlight Adams’ closing thought,
“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.”
Happy 4th of July to all … Ours is a great nation … God bless America.