​A Heavy Weight on the Tip of a Pen
LPS Communications


Written by Tom Deighan, LPS Superintendent

Over two-hundred and forty years ago, fifty-six men made an amazing decision to gather in Philadelphia to draft The Declaration of Independence.  In an age before trains or steamboats, many traveled hundreds of miles by sail, by foot, or by horse to draft and sign the document.  To punctuate their understanding of the gravity of their commitment, the last line clearly outlined the stakes: 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.  

A heavy weight on the tip of a pen.

As those men traveled home, I can only imagine their thoughts after formally rebelling against the most powerful kingdom in the world.  They endangered their children, wives, and families, and the ripples of their decision quickly spread beyond their control as they returned to their communities.  Many celebrated the decision to separate from King George.  Others signed up for the fight.  All, however, understood that nothing would ever be the same.  Everyone had to choose sides: The Crown or the fledgling United States of America.  Many signed up to serve in The Continental Army or in state militias, following in the footsteps of the signers, risking their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

A heavy weight on the tip of a pen.

Lawton-Fort Sill is also full of people who made an amazing decision.  At some point in their youth, usually in their late teens or early twenties, they walked into an office and signed their names to a contract.  By doing so, they committed their lives at the behest of our United States government for the protection of this great nation.  Many signed up for the career experience or the GI Bill, so they could attend college.  Others signed up because they had no other opportunities.  Regardless of the motivation, all served America, committing no less than the original fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence.

A heavy weight on the tip of a pen.

Parents and spouses and families signed up right along with them, acutely aware of the gravity of the decision.  Many celebrated the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood.  Others fretted, supporting them nonetheless.  All, however, served with them, vicariously pledging the same oath required of all military service members: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

A heavy weight on the tip of a pen.

Veteran’s Day has come and gone for 2017, and a civilian like me can never understand the bond of service that connects the first signers of The Declaration of Independence with the men and women who today fill the great community of Lawton-Fort Sill.  It is an unbroken fellowship that includes not only those who served but also their husbands, wives, children, and families.  It certainly puts trivial matters like local elections into focus, but then again, everything since 1776 has been built upon the premise that elections are not trivial matters.  Indeed, each election is a heavy weight on the tip of a pen.  With that in mind, please say a prayer of gratitude for our veterans and their families as you vote this week, and do not forget to pray for the safety of our schools this second Sunday of the month.