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On July 4, 1776, there was signed in the City of Philadelphia one of America's historic documents: the Declaration of Independence. It marked the birth of our nation.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed that document pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor?

Of the 56, few were long to survive. Five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes pillaged, occupied by the enemy or burned. Two lost their sons serving in the American army. One had two sons captured. And nine fought and died from wounds or hardships in the war.

To those who sacrificed for our freedom, the end was worth the painful means. Where would we, who are American citizens, be today if there had not been those who counted the cost of freedom and willingly paid for it? Where will we be tomorrow if men and women of integrity do not come forward today and pay the price to reclaim a dying America?

Remember, freedom is not free!

Jack Malone

Longview

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