The ultimate critical assumption | Freedom

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence and set in motion a series of events that changed the world forever.  The ripple effects of that action are being felt today, probably stronger than they were at the time.  These mean signed with the clear knowledge they were actually signing a death warrant.

Think of that.  Having the unmitigated gaul to stand up to something as big as the British Empire.  Having that kind of commitment to an ideal, to something that may not even work out.  I don't know if I've ever had that type of commitment to anything, that I would say "I believe in this, more than my own life".  Now, we can be cynical about their motivations - and the motivations of those currently in political office.  It seems we "know" too much about human nature to think anyone does anything that doesn't provide personal benefit.

But I would love the opportunity to reach back in time, for just a moment, to thank these men and shake their hands.  The following are the names of the men that signed this Declaration of Independence, many of whom are unknown, faceless men that believed in something bigger than themselves.  

I thank them now.

1. John Hancock 
2. Josiah Bartlett
3. William Whipple
4. Matthew Thornton
5. Samuel Adams
6. John Adams
7. Robert Treat Paine
8. Elbridge Gerry
9. Stephen Hopkins
10. William Ellery
11. Roger Sherman
12. Samuel Huntington
13. William Williams
14. Oliver Wolcott
15. William Floyd
16. Philip Livingston
17. Francis Lewis
18. Lewis Morris
19. Richard Stockton
20. John Witherspoon
21. Francis Hopkinson
22. John Hart
23. Abraham Clark
24. Robert Morris
25. Benjamin Rush
26. Benjamin Franklin
27. John Morton
28. George Clymer
29. James Smith
30. George Taylor
31. James Wilson
32. George Ross
33. George Read
34. Caesar Rodney
35. Thomas McKean
36. Samuel Chase
37. William Paca
38. Thomas Stone
39. Charles Carroll of Carrollton
40. George Wythe
41. Richard Henry Lee
42. Thomas Jefferson
43. Benjamin Harrison
44. Thomas Nelson, Jr.
45. Francis Lightfoot Lee
46. Carter Braxton
47. William Hooper
48. Joseph Hewes
49. John Penn
50. Edward Rutledge
51. Thomas Heyward, Jr.
52. Thomas Lynch, Jr.
53. Arthur Middleton
54. Button Gwinnett
55. Lyman Hall
56. George Walton


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