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‘We mutually pledge to each other ...’

July 4, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor

Six words in the Declaration of Independence should be the motto for every sports team: We mutually pledge to each other.

The last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is as follows:

"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

The United States is 236 years old today.

Would the Founding Fathers recognize this country?

On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson presented to congress the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Congress had voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, but did not complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence until two days later.

After changes to Jefferson's original draft, a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4, 1776 - nine colonies voted in favor of the Declaration; two voted no, Pennsylvania and South Carolina; Delaware was undecided and New York abstained.

John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. It is said that he signed his name "with a great flourish so King George can read that without spectacles."

If you mutually pledge something to each other, you are telling the others they are more important than you.

You are telling them that the team is bigger than yourself.

That is something our military personnel do every day.

They mutually pledge to each other to fight for this country so you and I are free.

We are free to believe in God, or not.

We are free to burn the American flag, or not.

We are free so say what we want, or not. At the same time, if we say what we want, others are free to hold us accountable for what we say, or write, or shout, or tweet.

We are free to pray, or not.

We are free to make unbelievable stupid statements at sporting events on all levels, or not.

Thank you to all the men and women who serve in the armed forces, for you are the pure example of being humble.

You have put everybody ahead of yourself, something that I could not do in that situation.

I never wanted any part of being in the military.

That was never something that interested me in the least.

You are far better humans that I.

You lay down your lives so the Stars and Stripes can wave proudly.

You lay down your lives so we can have freedoms not found anywhere else in the world.

Thank you.

"I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps." - Mahatma Gandhi

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." - C. S. Lewis

"Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility." - Saint Augustine

"Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire." - William Penn

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self." - Charles Spurgeon

"True humility is intelligent self respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be." - Ralph W. Sockman

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Ernest Hemingway

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day." - Abraham Lincoln

"As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you." - C.S. Lewis

"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet." - Winston Churchill

"True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue." - Martin Luther

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." - Ann Landers

There is no talent in being humble.

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

"I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." - Luke 18:10-14

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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