August 1, 2014

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Service and sacrifice of the signatories for the cause of liberty and freedom

Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence were many ordinary men who are not notably remembered in history except for their names being on that document. Yet they contributed much to the freedom and independence of the United States we know today. By simply taking a stand against Great Britain, these men were risking it all.

They risk their lives, the lives of their families, and all that they had worked to obtain. No doubt they lived with no little fear and great stress as to the uncertainty of where the rebellion against the English king would lead. Wherever their place may have been in our history, we need to see them as real people who shaped the nation we love today.

There were men like Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island who spoke against British tyranny long before the revolutionary period and mavericks like Samuel Huntington of Connecticut who devoted nearly all of his life to public service and Francis Lightfoot Lee, a farmer from Virginia, who was a noted radical on the side of Patrick Henry in opposing the Stamp Act. Merchants like William Williams of Connecticut and Philip Livingston of New York involved themselves in politics for the betterment of their hometowns and the country as a whole. Williams held the position of the Lebanon town clerk for forty-four years and a Selectman for twenty-five years, serving the provincial and later state Legislature for nearly forty years. Livingston served as an alderman and was elected to the state Senate.