Renewing the American Spirit

Patriot Week begins on 9/11 and ends on 9/17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (Constitution Day)) and renews America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Many of current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit. This blog is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Patriot Week - and America - alive all year long.....

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sharing the Common Danger and Glory For Liberty is a Great Blessing

In 1776, when the American Revolution had just begun, and most would have thought the revolutionaries to be fools, Samuel Adams urged his countrymen to risk their lives for freedom:
"You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause; and while they grasp their swords, can look up to heave for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would for higher wages direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on then, in your generous enterprise, with gratitude to heaven for past success and confident of it in the future. For my own part, I ask for no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wisher dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren or a Montgomery, it is these American States may never cease to be free and independent."

These stirring words seem to be lost to many today.  Asking for now "greater blessing" than to risk one's life for glory and liberty?  Wishing to mingle one's ashes with those of martyrs? The Spirit of '76 is something we need to recapture or our republic will perish.

For more, visit America's Survival Guide and Patriot Week. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WE are the Guardians of Our Own Liberties

"Our Union is now complete; our Constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties. We may justly address you as the Decemviri did the Romans, and say: 'Nothing that we propose can pass into a law without your consent. Be yourselves, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends!'" Sam Adams (1776)

Whether we embrace Adams' call is up to us.  If we fail to heed his call, that we shall lose our liberty is a self-evident truth.

For more, visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Choose Freedom

"If there is any man so base, or so weak, as to prefer a dependence on Great Britain to the dignity and happiness of living a member of a free and independent nation let me tell him that necessity now demands what the generous principles of patriotism should have dictated." Samuel Adams (1776)

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today marks George Washington's birthday.  His remarkable life is so deeply rich, that choosing a singular accomplishment or characteristic to remark upon is a nearly impossible task.  However, one trait quite overlooked was his deep humility.  Although he earnestly desired to help his fellow countrymen, he often doubted his abilities to do so.  For example, when chosen to lead the Continental Army, he professed deep reluctance:

I am now Imbarked on a tempestuous ocean, from whence perhaps no friendly harbor is to be found. I have been called upon by the unanimous voice of the Colonies to the command of the Continental Army. It is an honor I by no means aspired to. It is an honor I wished to avoid, as well as from an unwillingness to quit the peaceful enjoyment of my Family, as from a thorough conviction of my own Incapacity & want of experience in the conduct of so momentous a concern; but the partiallity of the Congress, added to some political motives, left me without a choice. May God grant, therefore, that my acceptance of it, may be attended with some good to the common cause, & without injury (from want of knowledge) to my own reputation. I can answer but for three things: a firm belief of the justice of our cause, close attention in the prosecution of it, and the strictest Integrity. If these cannot supply the place of ability & Experience, the cause will suffer, & more than probable my character along with it, as reputation derives its principal support from success. [Letter to Colonel Bassett, June 19, 1775]
Of course, he proved his own doubts wrong, and by doing so, he won American independence and established a free country - a beacon of hope - for the world.  We would do well to emulate his humility and earnest desire to lay it all on the line for liberty.

For more, visit America's Survival Guide and Patriot Week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Heaven's Blessings

Samuel Adams said it best in 1776 when he wrote that "heaven has given us a country" with "the advantages of liberty and the most equal constitution" - and now it is up to us to defend that country and Constitution.

Monday, February 17, 2014

End President's Day, Long Live Washington!

We recently went through the buffoonery of celebrating Presidents’ Day through grand sales at retail outlets and a delay in the post.  Why exactly the culture has decided that we should celebrate every single President - including the luminaries of Chester Arthur and Franklin Pierce - with deep discounts on appliances is beyond me.

Like so many of our other civic holidays, Presidents’ Day is mostly a sham.  It should be rooted out and our nation should again proudly celebrate Washington - alone.  He is truly the indispensable man in American history.  

The holiday was intended to commemorate the singular, historic accomplishments of George Washington.  February 22 (not the third Monday of February) is Washington’s true birthday.  After he was given to the ages, Americans began to celebrate his birthday without any government prodding.  In 1879, February 22 became an official federal holiday.  

That Washington deserved adulation was once a self-evident truth.  He played a key role in the skirmish that set off the French and Indian War.  That war led to enormous debt for the British Empire, which led the British imposing taxation without representation.  The British policy was a leading spark to the American Revolution.  Washington then commanded the Continental Army against the British.  Through a series of brilliant logistical and strategic actions, he wore down the finest military on the globe and won American independence.  In a masterstroke, he retired from public service.  Returning home to Mt. Vernon, he allowed the seed of freedom to sprout.  

Several years later, he was reluctantly cajoled to preside over the Constitutional Convention.  His support was crucial to ratification of the Constitution.  Not content to let Washington leave the field again, he was the only person unanimously elected (twice) as President.  As the first President, he created many of the traditions, and initiated many polices, that dominate even today.  He refused the major trappings of royalty, and understood his role as a president of a republic.  After his second term, he again voluntarily retired.  This act of relinquishing power was unparalleled since the ancients.   Awestruck, his nemesis - King George III - declared him the “greatest character of the age.”  For once, the King was right.

There was a time when Washington was recognized each year.  Today he is all but a caricature hawking carpets.  Although there are many reasons for this denigration, it was all but assured by the ruining of his holiday.  Beset by commercial and labor interests, President Richard Nixon issued an executive order fixing Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday on February.  Soon businesses and the popular culture transformed the day to “Presidents’ Day.”  Technically the federal holiday remains Washington’s - but practically it celebrates nothing.

The gutting of the holiday has consequences.  Like a religious liturgical calendar - which renews the faith of followers - America needs a civic calendar.  This calendar should make us pause to give thanks for our blessings and renew our faith in the country.  We still have the calendar (Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Veterans’ Day), but it has become so cheapened by money and three day weekends that it is worse than worthless. End the charade.

In his General Orders on July 2, 1776 to the newly formed Continental Army, Washington explained that “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves . . . .The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army . . . . if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.”  As a republic, his call harkens to us today.  The time is now in which the fates of millions rest.  Let us triumph.

Washington’s importance is why he holds a prominent position in the new civic celebration of Patriot Week, co-founded by me and my then 10 year old daughter Leah.  Patriot Week is renewing our civic calendar by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Anchored by the key dates of September 11 and September 17 (Constitution Day), Patriot Week renews America’s spirit and has captures the imagination and support of citizens across the nation.

Let us answer the challenge of freedom standing up for freedom and by vigorously celebrating Washington’s Birthday and Patriot Week.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

America, founded on justice and the rights of the people

"by the beneficence of Providence, we shall behold our empire arising, founded on justice and the voluntarily consent of the people, and giving full exercise of those faculties and rights which most enable our species." Samuel Adams (1776)

Monday, February 3, 2014

An Asylum for Religious Freedom

Samuel Adams explained America's unique role with regard to religious liberty at the dawn of our Revolution:

"The civil magistrate has everywhere contaminated religion by making it an engine of policy; and freedom of thought and the right of private judgment, in matters of conscience driven from every other corner of the earth, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. Let us cherish the noble guests, and shelter them under the wings of an universal toleration. Be this the seat of unbounded religious freedom." Samuel Adams (1776)