Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What price independence? And liberty?

The nation celebrates its birthday and if one looks back 236 years ago, the circumstances of its birth are worth more than a minute of reflection.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence did so under duress.  It was considered an act of treason against King George and the penalty was death.  Representatives however from 12 of the 13 colonies voted on this day to go ahead and approve a document declaring a tyranny of dependence on England null and void.

They choose to void security and many of the signers were very highly educated and secure in their standing.  In the face of certain death at the hands of the British crown Benjamin Franklin quipped, "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

For men of standing, who held respect and esteem in American society this was no trifling matter as together they agreed, "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

It was this basis leading to the creation of a Bill of Rights and the US Constitution, the preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Some background on the signers after they affirmed the declaration:

Nearly all the signers, in either a civil or a military role, became involved in the prosecution of the war. Over a fourth of them—seventeen—saw military service, and twelve of these were actively in the field during the Revolution. Four of them were taken prisoner. A civilian signer, Richard Stockton of New Jersey, father-in-law of Dr. Rush, who served as Surgeon General, was, however, the first to be captured. 

Late in September, 1776, scarcely seven weeks after he had signed the Declaration, Stockton was appointed by the Congress to visit the northern army at Saratoga, where he found the colonials marching with neither shoes nor leggings. Before he got home to Princeton, the British had invaded New Jersey and his handsome estate, Morven, was sacked. In December, he succeeded in getting his family installed in the house of friends in Monmouth County; but some Loyalists informed the enemy of his presence there, and he was captured and taken off to a British prison, first in Perth Amboy and later in New York City. Cold, poorly fed, and badly treated, he was kept jailed until the Congress eventually succeeded in arranging his exchange. 

Stockton was one of those who gave both his life and his fortune to back the instrument that he had signed: his health permanently broken by the ordeal of imprisonment and his fortune virtually wiped out, he died, at fifty, before the war was over.

Not one signer defected even though many lost their homes, health and family during the fight for independence.

For the complete story:

To read the full Declaration of Independence, please see the jump:

Independence greetings from Councilwoman Jen Giattino

Greetings from Jen Giattino for City Council
Bringing you a quick holiday
& summer fun update along with
status on Sinatra Park: 
Fourth of July:
The Stevens Institute of Technology campus will
be closed to the general public on July 4th from
4pm until midnight on July 4.
Please see the list of street closures
to the right. > 

    Movies Under the Star 2012
    at Pier A 
    July 11 -  Bridesmaids 9pm
    July 18 -  The Artist 9pm
    July 25 – The Help 9pm
    Aug. 8 – Toy Story 3 8:15pm
    Aug. 15 – The Muppets 8:30pm
    Aug. 22 - Wizard of Oz 8pm 
    Concerts in Church Sq. Park
    Wednesdys in July and August
    7pm to 9:30pm
    Boys & Girls Club pool
    123 Jefferson 6/25-9/1
    Ages 5-12
    Mon-Sat 11am-5pm 
    Union City Pool
    Firefighter’s Memorial Park
    9th Street and Palisades Avenue
    5/25 to 9/4
    Tues. & Thurs. 10am-11:30am
    Wed 6pm to 7:30
    Secaucus Pool
    Click HERE to download
    information and an application
    to the Secaucus Pool.

    Spaghetti Dinner Block Party
    Thursday, Aug. 30th, 5pm to 8pm
    Sinatra Drive bet. 1st & 2nd Streets.
    Great food, live music & family atmosphere.
    Tickets available at City Hall in the
    Cultural Affairs Office, 2nd floor.

    Church Square Park Update:
    Final design is underway and we
    can look forward to the following improvements:
    •  New playground equipment   
    •  Resurfaced basketball courts  
    •  Improvements to the Dog Run

    As always, questions & concerns,
    Click HERE to email.
    See you around!
    Have a safe and fun holiday!
    Jen Giattino
    P.S. Please share this info with
    neighbors and other residents who may
    want to receive (forward to a friend, Facebook,
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    there's a sign-up for future updates at the
    very bottom).

      Fireworks over the Hudson 
      No parking will be permitted on the following streets between 8am and midnight
      on July 4th:
      • Sinatra Dr. from 15th St.
        to 1st St 
        (no parking as of July 3rd at 8 am)
      • 4th St. from River to Clinton
        (on the south side of the street)
      • Willow Ave. from 11th St.
        to 4th St. 
        (on the west side of the street) 
      • Hudson Place (by the PATH) 
      • Newark Street from Hudson
        St. to Sinatra Dr
      • Clinton St. from 7th St.
        to 8th St.

      • Hudson St. from 14th St.
        to 2nd St 
        (on the west side of the street) 
      • Hudson St from 2nd St. to Observer   
        (both sides)
      Sinatra Park:
      I visited the site on June 25 where I saw the collapsed 
      southern seawall.
      Work had to stop for safety reasons as well as the scope
      of the project changing.
      The project is no longer
      pile restoration. At this
      time I do not know a date
      of completion.
      The biggest obstacle in
      terms of time has been permitting from the DEP.
      I am hopeful that we can
      obtain an amended permit rather than having to go through the entire process again.
      The City must go out to bid again due to the drastic
      change in the scope of
      the project.
      Segments of the Southern Seawall that have collapsed


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