Friends and neighbors –
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy Independence Day!!
Each year on the Fourth of July, I spend some time reflecting on my family’s experience during the American Revolution. I am often asked to share my family’s interesting story, which I try to do each year. If your family has a unique or interesting story related to our nation’s founding, I would love to hear it!
Here is my family’s story:
Some of you might know this already, but I am a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This organization is for women who are descended from someone who fought in our country’s war for independence.
My own membership stems from an interesting story:
One of my ancestors was a man named Solomon Sparks. Sparks was, according to one Revolutionary war veteran, a “celebrated Tory.” Throughout his life, and throughout the war, he remained loyal to the King.
At one point during the war, the Minutemen were rounding up and punishing loyalists. Sparks was one of their targets, but he wasn’t an easy target — he was always on alert for potential danger, and thus never left his home unarmed.
The Minutemen devised a plan. They recruited someone from a nearby town to pose as a traveler in need of directions. The person stopped at Sparks’ house and convinced him to provide directions. Once Sparks was outside of his home, the Minutemen sprang into action. They jumped him, hogtied him, and floated him down the Yadkin River. Despite the bleak situation, Sparks was still heard chanting “hurrah for King George” as he floated away.
But that is only part of my family’s story. As it happens, Solomon Sparks had five sons, and every one of those five sons became a patriot, fighting valiantly for America’s independence.
I think of their story a lot, especially on this holiday. Freedom is a cause more important than anything — even family. Solomon Sparks’ sons believed in it so deeply that they took sides against their own father to help our nation gain its independence.
Today’s military men and women make similar sacrifices. They volunteer to leave behind their family and friends, and the comforts of home, to preserve our freedom and the values we hold dear. They don’t do it for fame or glory; they do it because they want to protect everything America stands for.
Thank you to everyone who has ever worn the uniform for this nation. We are eternally grateful.
I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!!