February 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm #37332
In our modern world we most commonly refer to sacrifices in terms of that which we do to better our lot in life. This might be making sacrifices to acquire education or skills to better career prospects, making sacrifices to get a business going, saving to buy property, or for this group here maybe skipping the vacation so as to buy preps. All these are sacrifices for which we anticipate having a better life for ourselves and our families in exchange for those upfront sacrifices. Last night I was reminded of the other kind of sacrifice which is much rarer in our current world, the kind that most would say they’d do but which is just a theoretical hypothesis more than it is a real possibility. This is where sacrifices are made with the anticipation that you won’t have a better life as a result of the actions you take. I was researching a family that lived in central New York State. The guy was a 57 year old farm laborer who enlisted as a foot soldier to fight in the Civil War. He subsequently died in Vicksburg, Mississippi. My 1st reaction was what in the world was this old guy voluntarily enlisting like that at age 57. Then it hit me in a flash. He had 9 daughters and 1 son, that son being 18 years old and surely precious to him beyond life. He took his son’s place in the draft. Back then you could either find a substitute or you could buy your way out of the draft for $300 but this family’s house and land was worth only $350 and his personal effects only another $100. There was no way he could come up with $300 to keep his son from being drafted and so he used the only thing he could possibly sell,,,,himself. We live in good times. The world used to be a much harsher place when sacrifice had a whole other meaning.February 26, 2015 at 1:48 pm #37353
That is pretty much the ultimate sacrifice a man can make. Hopefully we will never see that kind of aggrieved situation here again. Recently I’ve begun to wonder though.
Just a side comment on the “draft”. The term draft is used when a more positive meaning is desired. Conscription is used when a negative meaning is desired. As far as I can tell there isn’t a meaningful difference between the two actions.February 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm #37360
MB you hit the nail on the head. We really don’t have a good understanding of sacrifice. Not having a latte in the morning is not a sacrifice it is an inconvenience. Even many of the examples you listed were not really sacrifices, they were a means to an end or goal. We have gotten so accustomed to luxuries and consider not having them a sacrifice. A real sacrifice as you stated costs with no return on investment. The father knew he would likely die but to him his sons life was worth it.February 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm #37366
The draft is inconsistent with the Constitution which is why we have a volunteer army today.February 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm #37496
Sacrifice? Look at what the framers and signers of the Constitution went through.
The following is often published and cited concerning the fate of the Signers, but its accuracy is doubtful, and should only be taken as “traditional” rather than historical. Some of the ‘facts’ have since been debunked but not all is incorrect.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. 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. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn’t fight just the British.
We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!
Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn’t. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid. Remember: freedom is never free!
I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many people as you can. It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.February 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm #37502
Whirlibird… thats a well know piece you’ve got there. I heard Rush read it once on his show. There is no doubt the American side suffered considerable damage from British forces.February 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm #37508
Yes, the word sacrifice is way over used these days. Even worse is the word hero. I sometimes think people who have been deemed heroes outnumber the people who haven’t. Every soldier even if they never left the US, every cop, firefighter, school teacher, social worker, utility worker, community volunteer, etc etc. are designated as heroes now.
Back to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, my wife is related to three of them, George Read of Delaware, and George Ross and James Wilson of Pennsylvania. In each case they are either the sibling of or were married to the siblings of her direct ancestors. American blueblood. No wonder her mother objected to our getting married. LOLFebruary 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm #37510
That’s quite amazing that she is related to 3 signers!February 27, 2015 at 8:46 pm #37519
99% of the people in the US today have any idea of sacrifice. It is a lost cause to try and explain it to the spoiled, entitled, useless POS’s we have running around telling us working stiffs how bad we are and how their special interests groups need more of my pay check…….
It is almost to the point where anyone not receiving government aid, actually paying a mortgage on a place they earned the money for and raising kids all on their own are the only ones to know anything even close to sacrifice. We end up sacrificing almost 50% of our paycheck to “taxes” when our country revolted against less than 3% taxes and created our own country….. Just ticks me off.
http://ageofdecadence.comFebruary 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm #37526
sledjockey, I had a good career thanks to my own efforts to rise above my origins and by working harder/smarter than my peers. Having done that what perturbs me to no end are the “entitled” who think it is my responsibility to give them more and more of my income simply because they exist, with no responsibility on their part to better their own lot in life. People looking for hand outs rather than hand ups.February 27, 2015 at 9:38 pm #37529
I also had to find a way to get through college on my own, had my parents only pay for 1/2 of 1 semester of community college for me (they redirected my college fund for their own use that I had contributed 100% of the funds for so at least I got that much out of the several thousand I had saved), earned 1 AS, 1 BS and 2 MS degrees, have never been on a welfare program, bought my home with only what I earned myself, and raised 2 kids (1 of which is newly married and in the Army – other is working 3 jobs to pay for his aviation mechanical and powerplant degree). Heck, I am working 2 jobs right now to pay for the expensive preps I couldn’t afford with my normal job. These jack-holes that think that they are entitled to anything I have earned makes me want to donate a .22 round to their forehead.
http://ageofdecadence.comFebruary 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm #37533
sledjockey, I understand completely. When I turned 15 my mother pulled me aside and told me I was old enough to pay my own way and that I should get a job. Two days later I had a job scrubbing pots after school in a corporate cafeteria. I worked there every day until I went off to college and during college worked in the cafeteria during the school year and then the crappiest jobs that paid the most in the summers. I had a bed to sleep in and food to eat but otherwise I was on my own for everything else from 15 on. I got myself through college and also an MBA, bought homes, raised kids, and here I am. I fail to understand how people who don’t even finish high school are somehow considered victims and entitled to life on the dole.February 28, 2015 at 2:51 am #37554
Worse yet, those who are addicts are entitled nowadays to welfare because of their “disability”…
And yes, the true meaning of sacrifice is giving with no expectation of return… Freedom is NOT free. It costs. Everything. I believe things will soon get really bad, and then–only then–will people awaken to reality. And it will be too late.February 28, 2015 at 3:51 am #37562
Wild, you know it’s never to late….not saying it won’t get really bad, more like, you got to hit bottom to turn back.
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