SHARING SALEM

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed theDeclaration of Independence?

Their story . . .

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before
they died.

Twelve  had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two  lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had  two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died  from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants.

Nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well  educated.

But  they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well  that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter  Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his  ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his  home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British  that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.  He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted  the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General  Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his  headquarters.  He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties  destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a  few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's  bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their  lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For  more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

I hope you will show your support by sending this  to as many people as you can, please. It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July  means more than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

True "reflection" is a part of this country's greatness.  

Please be a participant.