Our time has come

Do you not hear the thunder?

That is not thunder

But the roar of the guns of freedom.

Do you not hear the moan of the wind?

That is not the wind

But the lament of the wounded

Who offer up their lives in the cause of liberty.

When the snows of win­ter come

Will our troops be clothed and fed

Or will they hunger and yearn

For the warm hearth of home.

When spring follows

Will the faith­ful heed the bugle call

And march again to face the foe

And brave the sting of mus­ket ball

Or will they shrink from duty

Because we suc­cor them not?

Our des­tiny lies with those brave souls

Though we lie in beds well made

And drink our fill and know no hunger.

We can­not shirk, we can­not hesitate.

The cries of our broth­ers echo

Across the fields of America.

The pit­tance we provide

Is bare enough to sus­tain the fight.

Will our for­tunes lie so content

If the bat­tle is lost?

Will our homes be safe from seizure

When our shores are breached

If we aban­don now the hopes

Of those in the field?

What sacred duty can we ever make

Or one that will mat­ter as much?

Act now.

Our time has come.

PATRICK HENRY – March 23, 1775. They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so for­mi­da­ble an adver­sary.  But when shall we be stronger?  Will it be the next week, or the next year?  Will it be when we are total­ly dis­armed, and when a British guard shall be sta­tioned in every house?  Shall we gath­er strength by irres­o­lu­tion and inac­tion?  Shall we acquire the means of effec­tu­al resis­tance by lying supine­ly on our backs and hug­ging the delu­sive phan­tom of hope, until our ene­mies shall have bound us hand and foot?  Sir, we are not weak if we make a prop­er use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our pow­er.  The mil­lions of peo­ple, armed in the holy cause of lib­er­ty, and in such a coun­try as that which we pos­sess, are invin­ci­ble by any force which our ene­my can send against us.  Besides, sir, we shall not fight our bat­tles alone.  There is a just God who pre­sides over the des­tinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our bat­tles for us.  The bat­tle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vig­i­lant, the active, the brave.  Besides, sir, we have no elec­tion.  If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the con­test.  There is no retreat but in sub­mis­sion and slav­ery!  Our chains are forged.  Their clank­ing may be heard on the plains of Boston.  The war is inevitable – and let it come!  I repeat, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to exten­u­ate the mat­ter.  Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace.  The war is actu­al­ly begun!  The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resound­ing arms!  Our brethren are already in the field!  Why stand we here idle?  What is it that gen­tle­men wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be pur­chased at the price of chains and slav­ery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course oth­ers may take, but as for me, give me lib­er­ty or give me death!

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.