Through the years Historians have written volumes about America's Founding Fathers. At least four of them who were numbered among the most important became the President of the newly established United States of America. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison were distinguished not only as Founding Fathers, but leaders through their Presidential terms. Other recognized Founding Fathers included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.
These men were visionaries for sure; they were leaders in freedom and independence. They risked their lives to break the tyranny of repression and injustice brought by unfair taxation and force from the rule of Great Britain. These were men of character, integrity and high honor. They believed in the principle of freedom, independence, self-rule, with power derived from the people and leadership directed from their Creator. But one ingredient in their formula for freedom is not often examined.
Yes, these men individually were consecrated to the idea of freedom and they put their minds, souls and talents into the creation and development of a Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Revolutionary War and the United States Constitution. But if they were only a small group of educated, insightful, well-intentioned group of patriotic elitists who tried to form an idea into a reality for the entire country, they likely would have failed.
It was their countrymen who provided the fuel for the Founding Fathers to launch into the realization of their ideals of self-government and freedom from tyranny. I suspect that people throughout the Thirteen Colonies had experienced the weight of oppression delivered by a government thousands of miles away that tried to impose on the New World population the Monarchial Rules of yesteryear that frankly did not fit any longer. The population of the Colonies had gelled to the point of having a commonality of their sense of justice. They contrasted the British garrisons dotted throughout the land with the vastness of freedom that lay ahead through the birth of a new nation that was experiencing pains of renewal and regeneration.
With like-minded countrymen throughout the Colonies the Founding Fathers were able to spark the fire of revolt that would change all of their lives forever. Countrymen who were just as smart, just as educated and just as committed to freedom and justice as were the individuals who rose to the level of Founding Fathers were willing to commit their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to self-govern. As those ideas were formulated into words that would eventually give rise to hope in the future for individual independence I suspect there were many "Patrick Henrys" across the Colonies who were ready and willing to sound the alarm and fight for freedom.
And so it is, as we celebrate each Independence Day, we look not only to the leaders of this great nation that has grown likely well beyond the wildest dreams of our Founding Fathers, but we look to ourselves, our countrymen who still believe in freedom, independence and self-rule with the Divine Guidance from our Creator to keep us on course.