In the summer of 1776 fifty-six people signed the Declaration of Independence. They knew that by signing they would be committing an act of treason, which was punishable by death. They would possibly lose their money, livelihood, and reputation just by signing their names. These men were already successful and well known. Most were highly educated and respectable people with families they loved dearly. In other words, they had a lot to lose. They knew the risks, but they still signed. This was no small deed, not to them and definitely not to Great Britain.
Why did they do it?
The heroes in the American Revolution didn't know what the future would hold. They didn't know if the declaration would even help at all. They couldn't have predicted how the Declaration of Independence would inspire thousands of people and influence many more. They couldn't guess how the American Revolution arguably became one of the most pivotal events in history and changed so much of the world today. The only thing the signers were sure of was how important freedom was and still is.
Even then, two hundred years ago, our founding fathers and many more knew how vital freedom was and still is. They knew that if they didn't stand up for their rights under the growing power of Great Britain that no one would. They had to be that changing generation. Day by day Britain was conquering more places and setting up more colonies. Most of the world was discovered and colonized by Great Britain. It was the biggest military force in the world at the time. It was a huge feat to stand up to them. The people in the Revolutionary War didn't stand up for no good reason either.
Then what is the price of freedom?
Freedom shouldn't have a price, but in this warped world it does. Freedom is one of the "God given rights" Thomas Jefferson refers to in the declaration. One wouldn't think that this right of ours that we are essentially born with has a price. It should be free. It should be granted to anyone, not held hostage for payment. Sadly freedom does have a price. This world is fallen; in a damaged world with damaged people and damaged systems truth can only prevail with a price. There has to be a price because there is always going to be someone or something that opposes goodness and truth. In a world where power hungry people will do anything, no matter how horrid or abominable, there has to be people willing to pay the price to set things straight. There is going to have to be conflict and sacrifice. It's horrible and vile and should only be resorted to as the last straw but it is still sometimes necessary.
I believe that just like our founding fathers we have to realize how crucial freedom is to ourselves and to the future generations of America. I believe that also just like all the heroes in the American Revolution we have to be willing to sacrifice for freedom.