The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Considerable Further Effort’

Posted on | July 4, 2011 | 14 Comments

“Though many call it the ‘Fourth Of July,’ July 4 is properly known as Independence Day. It celebrates the independence of the United States from Great Britain — or, more accurately, the declaration of that independence, which required considerable further effort before it was actually accomplished.”
Glenn Reynolds, “Three things you can do for liberty”

It is altogether fitting that we should celebrate the day of the Declaration, but who among us celebrates the dates of the great battles of the Revolution? How many even know the dates of Trenton, Saratoga, Brandywine, Kings Mountain and Yorktown? Wasn’t it true that the independence declared at Philadelphia was actually won by the common American soldiers who slogged through the mud and shivered in the snow and braved the British guns?

We know the names of Jefferson, Adams, Hancock and others who signed the Declaration — eloquently pledging their lives, liberty and sacred honor to the cause of independence — but independence was won by the courage and endurance of ineloquent men whose names we don’t know at all.

Probably a lot of them were named Smith. And also “Tommy Atkins.”

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap . . .

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Such are my thoughts on this Independence Day, while I sit at home with my family, and Smitty is deployed on the other side of the world, while his pregnant wife in Virginia prays for his safe return.

The next post at the blog will be datelined from Mazar-i-Sharif and will announce our 7 millionth visitor.

An’ it’s Smitty this, an’ Smitty that, an’ Smitty do or die;
An’ Smitty’s in Afghanistan — Happy Fourth of July!


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