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Fourth of July Thoughts
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Orphanage by Robert Buettner is my latest read. Military science fiction set in near-future Earth and Jupiter's moon Ganymede. Very good story, true to the military experience. In my opinion, the science is weak and the plot needed a bit of thickening, but who lets a little skepticism stand between her and a good story? Not I! I'm looking forward to his next book.

The perfect book to read on an uber-patriotic, flag-waving occasion, remembering fallen heroes and past wars, but most of all the war for independence from British economic hegemony. Give me Liberty or give me Death! I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. The British are coming! The British are coming! The shot heard round the world....

My most famous ancestor was Governor Tryon of North Carolina, who arrived in the Colonies in the mid 1700's. During the conflict, he finally had to shelter on a British warship to protect his family. He was very unpopular with the colonists, because he tried to enforce unrealistic British edicts and would not bend with the times. That stubborness and loyalty is, by the way, a family trait.

My other ancestors were Tories, bound to keep a promise to serve the King, no matter what, right or wrong. I hope I've learned that there are other values to honor in addition to keeping one's promise. Many families were torn apart, as was mine, between the desire to stand up to an unjust colonial rule on the one hand and the loyalty involved in keeping one's promise as a British subject on the other. They meant what they said when referring to their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor. It wasn't an easy decision--everything was at stake--nor was the outcome a foregone conclusion, though it is often seen that way today.

Of the two Lippincott brothers, one was a rebel and fought with the colonists. The other was a Tory and stood with the British establishment, eventually fleeing to Canada. His descendants founded the Lippincott publishers, still in business today, specializing in medical publications.

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