Every Patriot has a little rebel in them, whether one lived in colonial times or present day.
Some people wear an American flag on their lapel or fly an American flag in front of their home to show their patriotism. But behind those gestures there is most often something deeper, something that makes the individual a true patriot, similar to the men and women who sacrificed so much during the American Revolution.
In my research into the many characters of that time period, here are five commonalities with which you can identify as a patriot.
- Injustice bothers you. Taxation without representation, the most commonly cited argument for American independence, was actually Number 18 on our Founder’s list of grievances. The other injustices on the Declaration of Independence, crafted by Thomas Jefferson, certainly reflect wrongdoing on the part of King George III and his rule. As a patriot, you see people being treated unfairly and it tugs on your heart and gets your blood boiling.
- You wrestle internally with the situation and count the cost. Getting involved and taking a stand will have pros and cons. If you take action and stand up against an injustice there could be a cost to your time, reputation and even bank account, and depending on the circumstances, maybe even your life. There is always a cost. The 56 signors of the Declaration of Independence mutually pledged to each other their Lives, Fortunes andsacred Honor. Many had their homes burned by the British as a result. As a patriot, you struggle with what to do and question if the outcome is worth the potential sacrifices.
- Injustice prompts you to action and you give yourself to the cause. As a Son of the American Revolution, my ancestor, Lamberton Clark, joined the fight for liberty as a member of the Connecticut Militia and Continental Army at the age of 45 (old even then to join a fight). His spirit is reflected by thousands of men and women who decided to be brave and join the fight for liberty during the American Revolution. As a patriot, the hope for the desired outcome is deemed of greater value than the sacrifice—and we join the fight.
- You persevere through hardship and pain keeping the prize in sight. The American Revolution lasted eight years (1175-1783). Almost 50,000 Continentals were either killed or wounded during that time. In July 1777, General George Washington wrote, “We should never despair. Our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions, and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.” As a patriot, you have hope and belief that things will change during dark and gloomy times and that you will exert yourself proportionally to overcome.
- Your heart is overjoyed when the mission is complete. When the British surrendered and the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, John Adams (patriot from Boston and signer of the Declaration of Independence) later wrote to his wife Abigail, “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…” As a patriot, you recognize the cause came at a cost and when the battle is over you recognize its success and those who helped bring it to fruition—and you give thanks.
Robert Skead is the author of Patriots, Redcoats & Spies, from Zonderkidz, the children’s division of Zondervan, a Harper Collins Publishing company… The story was created by Robert and his father, also Robert Skead (now 90-years-old). Both are members of the Sons of the American Revolution. Their ancestor, Lamberton Clark, one of the main characters in the story, fought in the Revolutionary War as a member of the Connecticut Militia and the Continental Army. The book includes many historical facts about the war and features events that took place in 1777 in Bergen County, New Jersey, where the Skeads live. Discover more at www.robertskead.com.