Celebrating our freedom and reminding ourselves of American history
In a few days, on July 4th , we Americans will celebrate our Independence Day. Most of us will enjoy a long weekend of barbeques with family and neighbors, fireworks in the night sky, parades of flag-waving veterans, and relaxing poolside or at the beach. But we also must remember what makes us Americans today, while we commemorate what made us Americans in the first place. This is a time to remind ourselves, and our children, of the history behind Independence Day. The freedom we all enjoy was hard-fought in the American
Revolution and results from past battles against unacceptable, authoritarian rulers.
In 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the United States established itself as the global engine of freedom. Just prior to that, the British Crown had begun to mandate rules and taxes that the colonists found to be unjustified. The phrase “taxation without representation” has memorialized the government orders that were enacted against them without their agreement. George Washington and the Continental Army of patriots led the uprising against the British forces. Much of the action took place in our
region in places such as Yorktown, Saratoga, and White Plains. British spy Major John André was captured in Tarrytown, and traitor Benedict Arnold managed to escape.
Today, Americans may recognize new acts of government overreach. We have just emerged from over two years of travel restrictions, remote schooling, and mask mandates. There is a growing sense of relief – of freedom. Yet the overreach continues. For instance, in New York the Disaster Emergency – which gives the Governor authoritarian power to create executive orders related to the pandemic – has just been extended for another month. The Governor has even recently enacted – without legislative process or even public
announcement – Isolation and Quarantine Procedures (10 NYCRR 2.13) – which gives the State the authority to place you or your family into a facility if they believe you have a disease. Does that still feel like freedom? Another forgettable period in American history saw citizens of Japanese descent arrested and placed into camps. That is a very dark mark on our nation's history, and we certainly do not want to repeat it.
In his song Proud to be an American, Lee Greenwood sings that “at least I know I’m free.” The confidence in that verse has eroded in recent years. Americans are not as free as we once were. But it is not too late. Thankfully there are still patriots out there who are fighting every day to preserve our Constitution and stop overreach by our Executive Branch that wants to be able to force New Yorkers into quarantine facilities. A citizens’ group called Uniting NYS has teamed up with a group of New York State Legislators and together they
are suing the Governor and her Department of Health over this unconstitutional quarantine regulation (www.UnitingNYS.com/lawsuit). The Governor does not have the power to make such a regulation, as it not only violates our Constitution, but it violates several existing NYS laws. Stopping this quarantine camp regulation is paramount to maintaining our three, co-equal branches of government, just as our founding fathers intended. The three branches acting in equal power prevents tyranny. As you enjoy your July 4 th weekend, take time to remind your children about American history, and take time to support the new patriots.
Written by: Tom Andruss, Sleepy Hollow, New York