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"Independence Day - Risks of Our Founding Fathers"

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018

Motivational Message:



“If tomorrow all the things were gone, I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.


I'd thank my lucky stars, to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can't take that away.


And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.


And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,


God bless the USA…”


“God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood (To view video, click here)



The 4th of July holiday has always been one of my favorite holidays of the whole year. Innocent memories of being a kid return when breathing the summer air. Work slows down enough so that we can all somehow get together and enjoy each other’s company. Children are boiling over with excitement, just waiting for the fireworks start. Later in the night, you can see young people staring up at the sky, talking about endless possibilities for the future  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to realize how rare this all is compared to other places in the world. I can’t help to think, “How did we inherit such a great thing and what must we do to grow and protect it?”


This Independence Day, I want to share a message sent to me a few years back that “woke me up” to the risks taken by our Founding Fathers in order to establish this country. It’s titled, “Our Nations First True Patriots” by Bob Aldrich and summarizes what happened to the 56 people who signed our Declaration of Independence. All of them pledged their “lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor” together in order to found this country. And, without their initial sacrifice for founding this nation, none of what we experience today would exist.


On that note, Happy Independence Day Everyone! Bottom line: Have a blast but stay humble!! J


Until next week…


God Bless,






Our Nations' First TRUE Patriots
Thanks to Bob Aldrich for sharing this



Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?


For the record, here’s a portrait of the men who pledged “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” for liberty many years ago.


Fifty-six men from each of the original 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Nine of the signers were immigrants, two were brothers and two were cousins. One was an orphan. The average age of a signer was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate at 70. The youngest was Thomas Lynch Jr. of South Carolina at 27.


Eighteen of the signers were merchants or businessmen, 14 were farmers, and four were doctors. Twenty-two were lawyers – although William Hooper of North Carolina was “disbarred” when he spoke out against the king – and nine were judges. Stephen Hopkins had been governor of Rhode Island. Forty-two signers had served in their colonial legislatures.


John Witherspoon of New Jersey was the only active clergyman to attend. (Indeed, he wore his pontificals to the sessions). Almost all were Protestants. Charles Carroll of Maryland was the lone Roman Catholic.


Seven of the signers were educated at Harvard, four at Yale, four at William & Mary, and three at Princeton. Witherspoon was the president of Princeton, and George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary. His students included Declaration scribe Thomas Jefferson.


Seventeen signers fought in the American Revolution. Thomas Nelson was a colonel in the Second Virginia Regiment and then commanded Virginia military forces at the Battle of Yorktown. William Whipple served with the New Hampshire militia and was a commanding officer in the decisive Saratoga campaign. Oliver Wolcott led the Connecticut regiments sent for the defense of New York and commanded a brigade of militia that took part in the defeat of General Burgoyne. Caesar Rodney was a major general in the Delaware militia; John Hancock held the same rank in the Massachusetts militia.


The British captured five signers during the war. Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, and Arthur Middleton were captured at the Battle of Charleston in 1780. George Walton was wounded and captured at the Battle of Savannah. Richard Stockton of New Jersey never recovered from his incarceration at the hands of British Loyalists. He died in 1781.


Thomas McKean of Delaware wrote John Adams that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy – compelled to remove my family five times in five months.” Abraham Clark of New Jersey had two of his sons captured by the British during the war.


Eleven signers had their homes and property destroyed. Francis Lewis’s New York home was razed and his wife taken prisoner. John Hart’s farm and mills were destroyed when the British invaded New Jersey, and he died while fleeing capture. Carter Braxton and Nelson, both of Virginia, lent large sums of their personal fortunes to support the war effort but were never repaid.


Fifteen of the signers participated in their states’ constitutional conventions, and six – Roger Sherman, Robert Morris, Franklin, George Clymer, James Wilson, and George Reed – signed the U.S. Constitution.


After the Revolution, 13 signers went on to become governors. Eighteen served in their state legislatures. Sixteen became state and federal judges. Seven became members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Six became U.S. senators. James Wilson and Samuel Chase became Supreme Court justices. Jefferson, Adams, and Elbridge Gerry each became vice president. Adams and Jefferson later became president.


Five signers played major roles in the establishment of colleges and universities: Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania; Jefferson and the University of Virginia; Benjamin Rush and Dickinson College; Lewis Morris and New York University; and George Walton and the University of Georgia.


Adams, Jefferson, and Carroll were the longest surviving signers. Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Carroll was the last signer to die in 1832 at the age of 95.


Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more.



Sources: Robert Lincoln, Lives of the Presidents of the United States, with Biographical Notices of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (Brattleboro Typographical Company, 1839); John and Katherine Bakeless, Signers of the Declaration (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969); Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989).




Did this week’s message help you? If yes, here’s an opportunity to help other Great Americas, starting at just $25.

  • Fisher House: To donate, click here
  • Wounded Warrior Project: To donate, click here
  • Children of Fallen Patriots: To donate, click here,
  • Tuesday’s Children   To donate, click here
  • USO’s Operation Care Package  To donate, click here




This Week’s Training Schedule

Last week was a pretty good recovery week. Nothing intense; just some long distance jogs, rides, and swims. Also, I tried to make sure I slept at least 6 hours each night.


Having time to reflect a bit during workouts, I made a commitment to monitor my knees and promised myself that I would listen to my body and bypass a run workout if necessary. I still need about 5-7 minutes of running for my left leg to be fully load bearing without knee pain. If it takes longer than 7 min, then that’s my cue to drop to a walk, stretch and ice. Good news is I am down ~2 pounds to 248lbs.


Anyway, here’s this week’s workout plan.


Monday: Bike 75 min / Run 60 min

Tuesday: “The 300 Workout” (modified) / Swim 12 x 40m

Wednesday: Swim 15 x 100m / Elliptical Runner 30 min

Thursday: Swim 8 X 200m / Bike 90 min

Friday: Run 90 min 

Saturday: Bike 2 hrs 30 min

Sunday: Kickball (am) / Run with Kids / Swimming