“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”….Really? January 7, 2015

Wow!!! I utter “wow” as I digest the significance of those words…. the very words which flowed from Patrick Henry’s tongue in 1775 while speaking in front of the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

George Washington – A Soldier on Horseback

At the time, Patrick Henry was the Governor of Virginia and his oratory skills were those that turned the tide and swayed the Virginia convention to arm troops from Virginia for the Revolutionary War… which ultimately resulted in our independence from Britain. {As an interesting side note – this meeting took place in St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. No way! A political meeting in a church?!!! Perhaps if you know me, you detect my sarcasm in that line…. however, we’ll save that for another day; perhaps when I’m feeling a bit more up to a controversial blog entry} Back to Patrick and the seven words which likely served as the strike of a match which caused the spark that burned the house that Jack built…. oops, couldn’t help it as the cadence made me do it! All joking aside, back to the spark; the fiery igniting of flames which ultimately served as a kindle to the next turn of events which earned our independence from tyrannical Britain. To read these words lightly, void of any real contemplation is what I’m stewing on today.

You see, I don’t really enjoy pain. I’m actually a big wuss. While I would not label myself poltroonish or craven, I’m far from bold when it comes to the kind of undaunting courage these valiant men exhibited from their Colonial hearts and backed up with their matchlock muskets. Would we as ordinary citizens living typical every day lives be ready to exhibit the bravery needed if the “times-up” ever arrives on the alarm clock of freedom? The political tidewaters are ever changing and I truly believe we are the proverbial frogs in the pot and the water temp is rising. Are we going to boil to our deaths because we’ve fallen prey to the Overton Window? I believe this actually happened to the Jews and Germans during Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The signs were clearly present; some people intelligent enough to see them and with the means, fled before all hell broke loose. The tattooed wrists belong to the others that didn’t. They did not want to believe it could actually happen. Surely, no such atrocity so pervasive would ever sweep their lives into the unimaginable. Perhaps they didn’t enjoy pain either and simply hoped nothing like that could never happen.

I look back through history and the likes of men such as George Washington, William Wallace, Michael Collins and Claus von Stauffenberg. They were men who believed in a cause so intensely… they were willing to die to see it through to fruition. I think of the movie “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson, how he lost 2 sons and his home was burned at the hands of the Redcoats. While fictionalized based on history, the movie depicts real events which did happen to real people and I could barely get through the tough parts as the emotions were gut-wrenching. Images of people locked in a church while it is set on fire; the movie does a tremendous job allowing the viewer to commiserate with the Patriots while loathing the Loyalists.

I remember scenes in Braveheart and I writhe at the thought of pain that comes with the torture of being hanged, drawn, emasculated, disemboweled and quartered.

Mel Gibson as William Wallace

Liam Neeson as Michael Collins

On the contrary, Michael Collins, executed under ambush by gunfire, suffered much less… although he perished because of his staunch belief and fight for a free Irish State.

Claus von Stauffenberg’s coattails more than tugged at him as he morally sacrificed himself in the plot to kill Hitler which ultimately failed.

Tom Cruise as Claus von Steffenberg

I am also reminded of the Apostle Paul and how he suffered for his belief in Christ, our Savior. And, once again, in complete astonishment I say ‘Wow’ as it’s the only word I find with jaw wide open in contemplation of such events.

In hopes to end with better imagery, my point comes full circle in asking what are you willing to face for the sake of freedom? Perhaps it’s unanswerable until it breeches our very own threshold…. but it’s something I sometimes wonder about.

Could I ever exhibit the courage and fortitude the likes of these men did? Do I have that kind of bravery deep within unrealized? Could I say “Give me liberty or give me death” and mean it?

Could you?

Author Details


How to describe oneself is not an easy task despite the fact I often hear I have a penchant for writing. To try and encapsulate myself into a few sentences is challenging at best since I am filled with a heart for constant curiosity and the desire to keep learning. I take great delight in most all outdoor activities... especially those which involve hiking or being around the water. Camping in our pop-up or in a tent is always an invitation to discovery which I cannot turn down. A 'memory collector' is how I'd label myself, largely because I have this unending zest for life... I don't want to miss a thing! I love surprises, love to laugh and I get the biggest kick out of being married. I adore animals and my favorite happens to be a precious Golden Doodle named Zoe who came into my life as my 40th birthday present and has been the biggest gift that keeps on giving!! Sunflowers make me instantly smile and traveling makes my heart pound with excitement. Fortunate and very blessed to have traveled many places, my all-time favorite is the land of my ancestors, Ireland. Ireland calls me by name and beckons me to exploration like no other place I've been. And speaking of that, researching my ancestry has been a fun endeavor which often takes me down rabbit hole after rabbit hole as I seek to unveil mysteries of the past. Hanging out or traveling with friends is another area which I derive great joy from... and purposely nurturing friendships through cooking meals, entertaining or planning events gets my creative juices flowing. Once again.... it's that making memories thing! Beyond that, I could list a thousand things I find interesting, stimulating and feel so blessed to experience, indulge or simply wish for the day I get to investigate with a feverish glee. That's me!

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