The above image of Theodore Roosevelt, rifle in hand and facing the Rough Rider flag, evokes not only the past and ongoing sacrifice of our men and women on the battlefield, but also a deeper question about our commitment to the United States. Joined. James Strock, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, asks this question in his Substack column this morning: Would he have signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing the probability that he would lose his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor as a result? Several signatories died in the Revolutionary War, others lost all their property, and all were considered traitors by many of their neighbors who remained loyal to the British. For his part, TR left a comfortable appointment in Washington to fight in the Spanish-American War and his defense of progressive ideals made him a pariah among his social class.
Such sacrifice and bravery have driven this nation from the beginning and will always be necessary to preserve it, and not just through active military service. As we celebrate our independence today, let’s remember all their sacrifices and find a way we can do the same to support the effort to make America “a more perfect Union.” God bless America and Happy Independence Day!