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Photo Hunters: Sad

It’s another dreary autumn day in Upstate New York. Temperatures have been hovering in the 40s and 50s, and it’s drizzled or rained all week. We are making lemonade out of lemons, though. We’ve been baking and cleaning. My daughter makes an awesome peach pie, and we’ve made two this week!

For Photo Hunters today, the theme is sad. I took this photo when we visited Fort Ontario a few autums ago. It’s an old burying site with graves of people who died during the French and Indian War in 1754, and a monument to the Unknown Soldiers. This photo certainly looks sad.

Unknown Soldiers Sepia

Here’s another monument to the Unknown Soldiers who fought at the Battle of Oriskany during the American War for Independence in 1777.

Unknown Soldiers

memorial names

The people of those times pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor with firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, so that we could live in freedom from government abuses and usurpations. Where are the good men now?

This photo is most sad of all. This is our Congress, who voted for the “Patriot Act” that steals away our liberties, who are setting up militarized martial law against us, and they recently voted to bail out rich bankers and investors with our money, against our will. We are now the casualties. The sacrifices that our predecessors made for us now mean nothing. This is very, very sad.

State_of_the_Union

This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. …

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! …

Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. …

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

I know not what course others may take but as for me: give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry, 1775

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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