Moran is a retired commercial banker and has lived in the Roanoke area for more than 25 years with his family.
During these times filled with uncertainty and doubt, it would do us well to pause and remember just how precious, how vulnerable and how fleeting this America is now in age of rising authoritarianism, autocracy and corruption. Through a moment in time we were able to give birth to nation of principles never seen before and will never been seen again. Dwell long and hard on what we have accomplished in slightly over two centuries through painful strivings to improve the human condition of all Americans, through economic hardships that brought us low but constantly placing one foot in front of the other to move forward.
Think, too, of the million Americans who have given their lives defending this country and its principles in wars both foreign and civil. We have an obligation to those who have died in those conflicts to never give up, to never give in to the easy way out. It is their command, their legacy to us the living to honor their sacrifice because…
WE SHALL NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN
On that day so long ago, when men of resolve, of courage and foresight, declared to a despot across the sea a unanimous Declaration giving birth to a new nation and did commit unto that end their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor,
And so our Revolution did rage in war, in pain and loss for six long years, ‘til the despot across the sea saw the world turned upside down, grudgingly conceding the new reality of an America born, independent and free,
And to protect its hard-won victory for ages to come, to enshrine those stirring words declared a scant decade previous, again those men of resolve, of courage and foresight, came together once more in the city that witnessed its birth,
Then strove to meld rights old and rights new articulated as never dreamed of or seen in ages past with words of hope, determination and purpose…
We The People…
Unheard of in a time of despots and those who ruled with cruelty and malice, these words shook the very bedrock of governments across the globe for these words were but a precursor to those iron principles that followed:
Freedom of religion, free speech and of the press, the right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and fair trial, the prohibition against double jeopardy, against cruel or unusual punishments, our Bill of Rights.
And, after embracing this new tablet of civil commandments, the wisest sage of the time was asked whether we had given birth to a monarchy or republic, to which the First American, as Benjamin Franklin was known, replied with an admonition:
“A republic, if you can keep it…”
For Franklin and the other Founding Fathers knew that the precious won freedoms could easily be corrupted to dark purpose if men of probity, of courage and moral suasion were not constantly vigilant as was voiced by another Founding Father, John Adams, early in the nineteenth century:
“Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy yet, that did not commit suicide…”
These admonitions from our Founding Fathers are a warning that it is we the people who will decide if can we keep our republic.
REMEMBER, WE SHALL NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN