~ When Freedom Comes With A Price ~

By Amy Brucker

I just got back from a two week adventure in Colorado during which 135 of my closest relatives gathered from every corner of the continent to attend a family reunion.

After our Friday night dinner, I gave a presentation about our genealogy and how ourancestors were instrumental in the shaping of American Independence, and how that freedom came with a price.

Filled with hope and a vision, my ancestors came to the New World looking for freedom, but what they found was a hard road paved with loss and devastation. As Independence Day approaches, their stories are a relevant reminder of the cost of freedom.

The Cost of Freedom

During my presentation, I shared that our ancestors came over on the Mayflower in 1620, and how Susana White, our many-times-great-grandmother, was one of only four women who lived through the first winter, thanks to the Wampanoag who helped them survive.

I talked about how our ancestors were the subject of the Eames Family Massacre in Framingham, MA in 1676 during the King Philip’s War. How my many-times-great-grandmother, Mary Padelford Eames, and five of her children were massacred by Nipmuc Indians, and how we are the direct descendants of the only child who survived and had children.

I shared how our many-times-great-grandfather, Jacob Barney, lived next to the physician who examined the accused during the witch trials of 1692, and how the Barney family donated two acres of land to the Village of Salem to be used as a school, and then mysteriously moved far away, just as as the trials were beginning in April.

I then shared how our ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, and how my great-great-grandfather was part of the Eighth Cavalry who was instrumental in capturing and slaying Sitting Bull, a Holy Man whose greatest desire was to ensure the health and wellbeing of his clan.

My family was instrumental in shaping the “Independence of America”, but it’s a freedom that comes with a price.

There are many sides to every story and the shaping of America is no different.

Wampanoag and Nipmuc Indians wanted to live in harmony with the land, keep their traditions alive, and honor their agreements with the colonists.

Pilgrims wanted a safe place to practice their religion, raise families in accordance with their beliefs, and cultivate a place of belonging that was independent of political influence.

When these two worlds collided it resulted in tenuous friendships followed by bloody battles and devastating losses on both sides.

As Americans everywhere celebrate Independence Day this Fourth of July, remember that our freedom comes with a price. Every story has many sides, and the opposition isn’t really the enemy, but a person or people who are trying to assure their safety, belonging, and worth as a human, and sometimes their quest night seem at odds with your own.

Knowing Where You Come From Shapes Your Perception

We can’t change our past, but we can change how we perceive people whose values and outlook on life are different than ours. We all want safety, belonging, and to feel worthy. These are basic human needs.

True freedom comes from understanding that the power of our purpose, the reasons why we are here, do not have to impede on the freedom of others, and that there is always a way for all people to thrive.

The challenge is that the answer may not be obvious. We may have to examine our past in order to understand why we see the world the way we do, and then remember that there is always more than one perspective, each of which can be true.

As we move forward with our independence, with freedoms others may seek to deny, we need to look for soulutions we haven’t seen before. What answers are standing right before us? What haven’t we seen?

Sweet dreaming,

Amy

Independence Day … a Few Facts

Oro Cas Reflects

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 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…

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Feel Good Sunday: Italian City to Use Quiet Fireworks Out of Respect for Critters

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by R.T. Fitch

“More Companion Animals Run Away During the 4th Than any other Time of the Year…”

Living in an equestrian community it has always been the ‘law of the land’ to ban all types of fireworks at all times of the year for the sake of the horses and donkeys, but of course; there is always a drunk or unsupervised teenager who attempts to press the envelope during the 4th of July.  But all in all, we manage to stem the panic at a local level but are not exempt from the pops and booms from neighboring communities and our companion animals end up suffering stress from the surrounding commotion.

Years ago, when we had a quaint little farm in the countryside north of Lafayette, LA we were surrounded my neighboring farmers who would actually aim their aerial assault OVER our property just to watch our horses run…

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