We talk often about great teams in sports, and at times, in business. Yet we don’t often think of the founding fathers of our great nation as one. This July 4th would be a good time to honor the ultimate legacy team – the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four where Lawyers and Jurists. Eleven were merchants; nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well-educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. They signed and pledged their lives, their fortunes their sacred honor all for a cause bigger than themselves.
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 in the Revolutionary Army, nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence of God, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”