Happy Birthday America!

In celebration of the Fourth of July, I’m bringing back a post written by Justice Paul Newby in 2012.  Justice Newby reminds us that the freedom we enjoy today came at a high price.

download-2Photo by: Kazuend

Now Justice Newby…

Happy Birthday America! As we celebrate our nation’s 236th [240th in 2016!] birthday, it is good to think about our miraculous birth. The ideals that stirred a group of merchants and farmers to defy England, the greatest military power of the world, are as inspirational today as they were then.

Our Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” We stated that we were entitled to be a separate nation because of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” But our freedom was not free. We knew we would need the intervention of Providence to establish our nation. Thus on March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress called for a national day of prayer:

The Congress…desirous…to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely…on His aid and direction…Do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.

As Benjamin Franklin observed, “Our Prayers were heard; and they were graciously answered…[We] observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor.” While by God’s grace we were successful, the price was high. Share on X The signers of the Declaration noted, “With a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Many of the signers were forced to pay their pledges:

Nine died, five were captured, many had their homes burned, and several lost all and died in poverty. I hope we’ll all take time on July 4th to thank God for the sacrifices of so many and pray that we may continue to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

May God bless America,

Paul Newby

Justice, NC Supreme Court

Click here to comment.

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  1. Ann Johnson

    All I can say is that I am humbled to read this. Thank you.

  2. Ann

    Amen and yes, may we return to the principles this nation was founded on and celebrate not only our freedom but those who paid the price for it.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I so agree, Ann. I want to remember those who paid the price for our freedom.

  3. Pam

    This is perfect for today, Debbie! How well he says it! Our weather here is not terrific and after watching the movie, The Patriot, last night, we are going to go through the John Adams series beginning tonight as we recall those collection of courageous men whose values seem too often to get lost today in rhetoric that is not only unhelpful, but harmful.
    Blessings on you today, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, I haven’t seen the John Adams series. That sounds good. Thanks for mentioning them. Blessings!

  4. Michele Morin

    What a gift this post is! Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Michele.

  5. Horace Williams Jr

    I thank God for the sacrifices that were made for our country. I also pray for our leaders that we will turn back towards God or America will answer to Him. Thanks for sharing Debbie. Hope you had a fabulous 4th!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Horace. Our hearts are burdened by the arrogance we often see displayed against God. May God grant us tender hearts of repentance. God bless!

  6. Tai East

    What a great post, Debbie! Thank you for sharing! GOD bless America and GOD bless you, my beautiful friend! 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Tai. Bless you, my friend!

  7. Liz

    Yes, and AMEN! Men and women are still dying to preserve the principles this great nation was founded upon. May God grant wisdom and guide our leaders as they direct the path we take collectively.

    • Debbie Wilson

      You are right, Liz. Men and women still die to preserve our freedom. May God grant us hearts that seek Him and His wisdom. Blessings to you!

  8. Beth

    Such an important reminder, Debbie–to consider and never forget the sacrifices of our founding fathers. We are blessed by their sacrificial legacy. Happy “days-late” 4th to you, my friend! Thanks for giving us Justice Newby’s words to reflect upon and follow.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Beth. I appreciate his words and the work he and others do to continue to guard our country’s foundation. Blessings to you!

  9. Debbie Kitterman

    Debbie – I found myself dwelling more on the cost of our Freedom and Independence this year more than any other year – thank you for sharing this post even if it was 2012 – it is still very powerful and the words just as true! Your neighbor today at #DanceWithJesus

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Debbie. The cost is certainly worth pondering and appreciating.

  10. Sue

    Debbie K, I love your hashtag line.
    Thank you Debbie W for sharing this post. As a nation we need to remember who our true Protector is. I pray that we can become one nation under God again.
    I also give tribute to those who willing serve to defend our country . As a military wife and Mom I have seen the cost in families around me. It has never been fear of being called up to defend but eagerness as to when the soldiers have an opportunity to prove their allegiance to the US.
    God bless America.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sue, for the sacrifice your family had and does make for us. I applaud your attitude. God bless you and our country.

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