I love history and Virginia is full of it. My daughter and I toured St John’s Church this fall while attending The Italian Street Festival on Church Hill. I love the architecture of the old buildings, the smell of the musty, aged wood and sounds of the creaking floors as we walked the isles of that old church. My sanity was unexpectedly in question when I swear I could hear Patrick Henry's fervent petition being deafened by the roar of the gentleman patriots. I scanned the walls for evidence of something, of what I was uncertain. I wondered which patriot sat in the pew next to me. My imagination ran with excitement unable to contain its course. It was a stirring occurrence and I felt compelled to pursue the event further. I have read the words of the famous speech before during my formative years. Mostly because I had to for some school assignment or other reason for which it didn’t really matter. But this time, during this moment in time it was different. Months later and still haunted by the experience I gave into whatever had disturbed me from that day. I read his speech, I was moved. I read it again and several more times after that, my mind drifting with each sentence. Line by line its purpose became evident as the words stirred in me. I couldn’t help but question where are the patriots of this day? Those words were momentous then, changing the course of our nation and are relevant today. I encourage you to read the full speech, see below for link.
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."
Patrick Henry St. John's Church, Richmond, VirginiaMarch 23, 1775