Two-Hundred Forty-Six Years Ago by Robert Socha
Two hundred forty-six years ago (June 17, 1775), brave men defended their position just outside Charlestown, Massachusetts, on Breeds Hill (Bunker Hill). The ragtag militiamen numbered about 2,400 and barricaded themselves behind hastily built fortifications. The king’s army of 3,000 men advanced, led by General Howe, climbing the hill in perfect battle formation. American officer William Prescott exclaims, “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” Two months after the shot heard round the world at Lexington and Concord, the British suffered heavy losses in their victory that day and learned they would not easily defeat the resolve of the American Patriot.
Concord Hymn, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Six years later, that same resolve ultimately defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown and sealed American independence!
Today, as the earth continues to twirl in its annual dance around the sun, we celebrate over 245 years of freedom, 236 of them under the current United States Constitution. The whole earth celebrates the canon established in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Through the blood, sweat, and tears of our armed forces, this venerated establishment of separate but equal branches of government continues to secure the opportunity for Liberty among the nations.
In the same way, those brave men devoted themselves to Bunker Hill’s defense, myriad men and women from every stripe have volunteered to join the Armed Forces of these United States of America. They sacrifice their lives, if asked, to stoke the fires of freedom in the hearts of men from Minot to Bagram. Serving on the frontlines from Ramstein to Misawa, from Anderson to Incirlik, our veterans continue the charge in the face of unprecedented usurpation of the American Dream. They have served from the European theatre, to the vast Pacific, to the hostile mountains of Afghanistan, to the middle-east desert, to the African plains, and beyond. They serve because they are asked. They serve because it is in their nature to fight on behalf of humanity.
Yet, there lurks the malfeasant author of confusion who sows the seeds of discord, disenfranchisement, and disgust with the establishment of the most significant vestige of Liberty the world has ever known. Selfish ambition clouds the judgment of men in positions of power and magnifies the evils of fallen men as the penultimate example of American forgetfulness. The people’s voices must come together and promulgate unity found in American idealism, embedded in our founding documents, and running in the veins of those born in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
So long as we can trust the men who lead our soldiers to continue the long struggle for Liberty, we can still echo another poem that I like to reference every year around this time:
God Save the Flag
Washed in the blood of the brave and the blooming,
Snatched from the altars of insolent foes,
Burning with star-fires, but never consuming,
Flash its broad ribbons of lily and rose.
Vainly the prophets of Baal would rend it,
Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall;
Thousands have died for it, millions defend it,
Emblem of justice and mercy to all;
Justice that reddens the sky with her terrors,
Mercy that comes with her white-handed train,
Soothing all passions, redeeming all errors,
Sheathing the sabre and breaking the chain.
Borne on the deluge of all usurpations,
Drifted our Ark o’er the desolate seas,
Bearing the rainbow of hope to the nations,
Torn from the storm-cloud and flung to the breeze!
God bless the Flag and its loyal defenders,
While its broad folds o’er the battle-field wave,
Till the dim star-wreath rekindle its splendors,
Washed from its stains in the blood of the brave.
It is important to remember that volunteers defend the tree of Liberty with authority through a Constitution that strictly defines the limits of its government (o that we would return to a federal bureaucracy subdued by those chains). Foremost among those is to provide for the common defense. Our battlefields today might mostly be for the minds of men, but the chance grows ever nearer that they might once again find our brave soldiers vying to protect a hill.
So I take a moment to say thank you to the millions of men and women who choose to continue to defend her stalwart claims and see that lady Liberty’s flame is not extinguished so long as brave souls continue to fight! Those bent on despotism will soon learn should their tyrannical tendencies continue that the American Patriot is stilled in their resolve to continue this American dream and will neither be easily defeated nor beat into submission.
God bless the USA!
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.