Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Liberty, My Ancestors

Growing up in the military gives you a deep appreciation for the mechanics of liberty. You watch your mother hold down the fort while Dad is in the field...he comes home stinky, but he comes home. He wears a uniform which is designed for utility and service. It's the same as every other man and woman in uniform on base, but underneath the uniform, he's your dad and he's doing his job so that you and everyone around you can be free to take him for granted. At 5:00 every day taps plays, and life stands still. Everyone stops stock still if they are walking, gets out of the car if they are driving, salutes if in uniform, or places hand over heart if not, and thanks God for the freedom that flag represents and the blood that bought it. We pledge allegiance to that flag, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all, and for the men and women resting in peace beneath it. We thank God our soldiers come home safe, and pray that He will keep the souls and comfort the families of those who don't. The cancerous doubt of right and wrong spread by increasingly "tolerant" liberal media stops with the Military Police guarding the gate. When I step past that gate, I know that I am safe.

In my civilian home, I have the right to bear arms, to keep my pistol at hand and to use it in my defense. I have the right to worship my God as I choose, or not, as I choose. I have the right to approve or disapprove of my government as I believe, and to vote, to have a choice and a voice. I have the right to peaceably assemble, to testify on my own behalf as needed and go about my business as I see fit, so long as I do not infringe upon the rights of others. These rights are not cheap. Headlines complain about the high cost of war, but what about the high cost of terror, the cost of silence and utter restraint? I think we would find that price more than we could bear and we would wish that we had stepped up and fought for funding and support for our troops.

My ancestors would be so proud. My father is not the last in a long line of soldiers. His father was a navigator in World War II; his grandfather Thomas Clark Hill was a medic in World War I. During the Civil War we had ancestors both North and South. I don't know off the top of my head whether we had ancestors in the Mexican War, the War of 1812; I haven't actually examined those records yet.

But I do know that we had several Revolutionary War ancestors. According to his pay stubs which I found in the South Carolina Archives, John Peter Sartor b. 1733 served both before and after the fall of Charleston. I'm still looking for more documentation pertaining to his service. His sons John and William also served, as did many of their friends and neighbors, including the families of their current and future wives. William was taken prisoner at the Battle of Cowpens, but was released in time to fight again at King's Mountain.

Jane Scott's father James Scott was born 1755, we believe in Pennsylvania. His tombstone in Knox County, Indiana, memorializes his Revolutionary War service, but I have not researched this in detail yet.

I am still exploring our North Carolina Revolutionary War roots. Among the Revolutionary War generation there was Thomas Hill, Thomas Lowe, and Samuel Clark. Thomas Hill was a Regulator, so opposed to the govenmental abuses in Colonial North Carolina that he took up arms against Governor Tryon.

I owe each of these people a special debt of gratitude. The Pledge of Allegiance was written more than 100 years after the Revolutionary War. But I do believe that the Sartors, Scotts, Hills, and every other Colonist who risked treason for freedom would agree. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That is my liberty, those are my ancestors, and I am proud to be an American.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Daniel Sartor (1789-1873) and John Peter Sartor IV (1788-1860) were in the War of 1812. It's cited in Union Co Heritage book.

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