Continued from Part 3
Soldier: OSCAR!!!   Think about what you just said.  We didn’t even have ball point pens.  We used quills & inkwells.  Paper was expensive and money was tight.  Practical typewriters wouldn’t come along until almost 100 years after the Revolutionary War.   We never even dreamed of the day that we would have the power to electronically transmit our words to nearly anyone on the planet who cared to listen to our ideas.  Any chance the real reason has more to do with fear than the lack of resources?

Oscar: I couldn’t deny that.  I have four kids, two biological and two adopted.  I’ve seen a lot of people go to prison, including too many on my watch.  I know what happens to kids that lose daddy.  I knew the risk factors.  Speaking publicly, criticizing the government, and especially filing lawsuits questioning the legal foundation of certain activities of the IRS could land you in prison, and I didn’t want to go.  Hacking at the branches is tolerated and almost even invited, but a few hacks at the roots would get your name mentioned in high places, and not for your own good.

Soldier: So the price of liberty’s too high?  Do you have any idea what your liberty cost me?

Oscar: No I don’t.

Soldier: I died in a British prison camp at the age of 36.  You’ve already gotten ten more years on this earth than I got.  Furthermore, I had 6 children, or 7 if you count an orphan that lived with us.  Do you think I loved my kids any less than you loved yours?

Oscar: Certainly not.  Any man worth his salt loves his kids.

Soldier: Can you imagine my panic and fear as I faced death?  I knew that my wife would suffer privation and hardships because of my decision to fight for liberty.  She had a dark foreboding when I left, and her premonition turned out to be well founded.  I died from disease, racked with pain,  in obscurity, as a prisoner of war.   I did it not only for my own family, community, and nation  – I did it for you too.

Somehow people have a hard time fathoming the personal tragedy arising from the death of an individual.  During the Revolution we didn’t have social services, not that we wanted them.  Our community was our social services and we didn’t want anything else.  Much of the time the troops weren’t even paid, for extended periods.  We couldn’t afford to fight, but then again we couldn’t afford not to fight either.

Oscar, any price you could possibly pay in your fight for liberty will pale in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice paid by any one of some 25,000 dead Revolutionary war soldiers.  Less than a third of them were actual battle casualties, but every one was a tragedy, and every one of them was a down payment on the price of liberty in the United States.

Another 25,000 were wounded.  My best friend lost one of his feet to frostbite at Valley Forge.  We suffered just about any loss that could be suffered without causing death.   What do you think about that? 

To be continued.

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