Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dr. Faulkner July 4th Message

On Thursday of this week the college will be closed so we may celebrate July 4th.  Called Independence Day, the national holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.  The National Archives web site reports that contrary to popular belief, the declaration was not signed until an engrossed or formal copy was prepared.  The actual signing occurred on August 2.

As we approach this national day to celebrate our freedom, I’m reminded of the sacrifice that so many have made to earn our freedom.  Those men who signed the Declaration realized full well that in so doing they placed their own lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness at risk to free America from the tyranny of the British monarchy.

At the Sunday morning service where Wanda and I attend, we took time to honor those that have served in the five branches of our military.  As the anthem of each was sung, banners of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines were presented and active and former members of each branch were asked to stand.   It was a particularly moving moment as a visiting friend from Chattanooga stood as a former Navy Seal who served in Vietnam.

But the struggle for freedom is not restricted to those in the armed forces.  I read the articles in the Sunday edition of The Tennessean about Catherine Burke-Brooks and others from Nashville that bravely became Freedom Riders to bring about desegregation.  Members of that movement faced abuse, expulsion from college, arrest, and even death to win freedom for future generations.

So among the hot dogs, hamburgers, parties, and fireworks of this July 4th let us remember that freedom isn’t free.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

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