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Halifax Resolves commemorated April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011
Speech by Representative Glen Bradley in Raleigh
Thank you Mr Speaker,

It is good that we gather here today, on this monumental historic day which shaped history not only for North Carolina and the United States, but also for the advance of liberty on the American Continent. While the path to true liberty for all people would still be a long road ahead, we often forget that the first steps were not taken in Philadelphia or Virginia, but right here in North Carolina, in the then-bustling trade town of Halifax on the Roanoke River.

On April 12th 1776, a date proudly commemorated on our North Carolina State Flag, around 60 delegates from every region of the colony of North Carolina gathered in Halifax North Carolina to declare their intent to break free of British rule and become sovereign in conjunction with the 12 other British colonies on the American Continent.

This amazing event that produced the Halifax Resolves which we hereby commemorate was not the end of the story, but only the beginning. Three months later in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence was drafted and ratified, and so began the 8-year American war for Independence. With the surrender of Cornwallis and the defeat of the British Armies, a new thing had been brought forth among mankind – the idea that individual liberty and personal sovereignty could achieve victory over oppressive government and go on to eventually form the most spectacular and glorious nation the world had ever seen.

In our continuing struggle for liberty, we adopted the US Constitution in 1789 – the document which the honorable Frederick Douglass later referred to saying that it’s strict enforcement is the best guarantee of human and civil rights.

Even then we had not achieved human liberty in America. We were a nation that kept slaves, and we fought a Civil War to end that and we became a nation of unequal opportunity, and we struggled in a Civil Rights movement to stop that, and so we have seen a slow inexorable progression from tyranny, through slavery, through indenture, through inequality, all the way up to this very day.

I submit to you that our long journey is not complete. That while we have made amazing progress towards the perfection of human liberty over the last 235 years since the ratification of the Halifax Accords, we are not done, as we still have a long road ahead.

Today, we as a nation put more people into prison per capita than any other nation on Earth, more than Cuba, more than North Korea, and even more than the old Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. Today, while African Americans make up 14% of drug users, they make up 52% of drug convictions. By granting private central banks a monopoly on the production and management of American currency, we have seen the divide between the poor and the wealthy grow into a great chasm artificially created and maintained by fiat.

These are struggles which still lay ahead that we can overcome, and that we must overcome if we are to truly set the standard for human liberty. Therefore let us look back to the ratification of the Halifax Resolves which we celebrate today not as a memorial commemoration of long-distant history, but as a remembrance of what the people of North Carolina are truly made of, what we can be, and push forward along the long winding path in the struggle for human liberty and go on to reclaim the title once lost and almost forgotten for our State, “First In Freedom.”

Let this day mark our way back to the path towards liberty for all mankind, and let history mark this day as the genesis of the second great awakening when a renaissance of freedom sparked once again in the great State of North Carolina and swept across the United States and restored our nation to the liberty which once made our nation the greatest nation on Earth and will do so again.

Friends, colleagues, and fellow North Carolinians, with your help we can move forward from this day not in memorial for a liberty once lost, but refreshed in our struggle and determined to reclaim the title of “First In Freedom” which more than anything else will restore the United States to greatness, and will guarantee human and civil rights for all of our citizens.

With that, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution to honor the ratification of the Halifax Resolves, not so much in recognition of what we once did, but rather to remind us of what we can and what we must find the courage to do again.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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