Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20, 2015 - Sons of the American Revolution

In older parts of the country like Maine, we have graves of Revolutionary War soldiers.  We have graves much older than that, but the Revolutionary War graves always make me stop and take a look.  I know I’ve written about the Revolutionary War before, but each time I see one of the grave markers, I’m struck with the idea of an entire civilization living, moving, and dying long before anyone reading this was born.

Sons of the American Revolution.

The SAR stands for Sons of the American Revolution.  The Revolutionary War took place from 1775 to 1783.  It started between the 13 original colonies and Great Britain when we declared our independence shortly after the Boston Tea Party.  By 1778, France jumped in with the Franco-American Alliance because they were still angry at Great Britain for the Seven Years’ War.  As allies of France, the Netherlands and Spain jumped in as well.  Suddenly, it was escalated to a “World War,” even though that term was not to be used for the first time until 1914 with World War I, also known as the “Great War.”

All of this was going on way back then.  Country against country.  Campaign against campaign.  Each nation was hoping to gain glory, freedom, spoils, more land, or revenge.  They did it all without electricity, telephones, the internet, cars, or trains.  Eventually, America emerged victorious, and the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

Now the soldiers are all long since dead.  Here in Maine we still take care of their graves and still mark them with the emblem of the Sons of the American Revolution and a small American Flag.  It’s all that’s left of lives that were lived in the middle of a dramatic whirlwind, the likes of which people couldn’t even imagine today.  It’s not that we don’t have our own wars.  We have plenty of those, but the American Revolution was a “personalized” war as opposed to today’s wars that are “depersonalized.”  Fighting for freedom is one thing; fighting for possessions and power is another.

In the end, war is never good, but I am grateful for the secret society known as the “Sons of Liberty,” who carried out the Boston Tea Party.  I’m an American and resistance is in my blood, but so is common sense.  I know that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I will still stop and respect the Revolutionary War graves when I come across them.  I don’t know if there will be a special marker on my own grave when I die, although I highly doubt it.  I do hope in the future that someone will stop at my grave anyway and think back to our time and realize that we are all fighting a battle for our own freedom in one way or another.

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