A powerful and thought provoking Memorial Day reading was shared at the Leake County courthouse. With a spirit of honor and commemoration, Joe Burgess wrote and read a tribute entitled “It All Started Here.” Below are the written words and audio. (see link at bottom)
It All Started Here by Joe Burgess
“It all started here. It started here with a group of determined minds and strong hearts yearning to breathe free. Men and women of different social standing, some wealthy, some poor but all with the common desire to be free…free in mind, spirit and body. Long and arduous has been the road from beneath the king’s thumb to the mountain top of freedom, upon which we now reside. From then to now, we have watched willing men and women stand for our precious liberties. Not only willing to stand but willing to study, work, march, fly, sail, fight and ultimately die for your and my freedom. It all started here with what we know as the Revolution, where men fought for a mere dream, a glimmer of hope but a hope worth fighting for. Having been convinced of the vision, wives sent out their husbands and mothers sent out their sons to battle against a mighty army. Surely they dismissed thoughts of inevitable defeat, said their goodbyes and trudged off into the unknown hoping to gain this thing called freedom. Fears and doubts were cast aside because of a burning desire to experience something they were told could be possible. This desire was verbalized in March of 1775 as Patrick Henry spoke to the Second Virginia Convention and uttered these immortal words: “give me liberty or give me death.” This seemed to be the mantra of the men and women of that day as they were willing to taste the quick sting of death instead of the lasting, bitter effects of tyranny. It all started here, on the shores of home as men fought for our liberties and the hope of our forever freedom. From that day to this, we have watched as wives gave their husbands, mothers buried their sons and daughters and soldiers gave their lives for something they briefly enjoyed.
It all started here and continues today as men and women march, sail, fly, fight and die getting the job done that so many can’t, or won’t, do for themselves. Through the decades and centuries, we have watched as they fell behind Washington, MacArthur and other nameless, faceless leaders. Some of you watched as they fell by your side. We want to remember those who bravely served and willingly sacrificed their life and their future for our lives and our futures. Some names are easily recalled and some faces are easily recognized because their heroic deeds were recorded in history as a memorial to the price paid for the rest of us. But there are many more who are just a name on a wall, whose face is remembered only by a father, mother, brother, sister or close friend. These must not be forgotten. We will remember them when we shake the hand of a soldier on the street or thank a veteran in a nursing home. As we watch the feeble hand of a WW2 veteran, rising in salute to the American flag, let us remember where it started and ask where will it end. It started with our forefathers in 1775 and let us, their sons, confirm in our hearts that it WILL NOT end here with our generation! If it was worth fighting for then, it is worth fighting for now! Let freedom ring in 2020 and God bless America!”
Written and Spoken By Pastor Joe Burgess