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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Let Freedom Ring

by Mauverneen
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~  Abraham Lincoln
Happy Independence Day!  July 4th – the day we Positively Celebrate our freedom as a nation.  I am reposting my annual Independence Day essay on What Freedom is to me. Fly those flags!

     Very often, when I hear the word freedom I get this ringing in my head – “freedom…freedom…freedom…”  It’s Aretha Franklin belting out those words in her song ‘Think’!  " Freedom – freedom – freedom – yeah freedom…"    It always makes me want to dance, which I don’t think is too inappropriate a way to celebrate. 
     There are different forms of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from oppression, freedom from an abusive spouse or parent.  Freedom of and freedom from.  Freedom brings responsibility; being accountable for one’s self and not infringing on other people’s rights - even when they don’t believe the same things we do.

     There have been wars and revolutions throughout history in the name of Freedom.  I think sometimes we forget how dearly our own country paid for our Independence.
There is Chickamagua, Fort Sumter, Antietem and Gettysburg.
There is Selma, and Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama.
There is Wounded Knee and Little Big Horn.
There is the Alamo and there is Pearl Harbor.
From sea to shining sea.
Different wars, different fights, different freedoms.

     We have a number of symbols of our freedom here in the U.S. – the flag, the eagle, the statue of liberty, among others. The National Mall in Washington D.C. is one of the most exciting places to see some of our monuments to freedom; from the Capital building to the Lincoln Memorial, from the White House to the Jefferson Memorial.
     In Philadelphia, there is the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and in Boston there is the harbor and the Old North church where the lanterns were hung to alert the militia that the British were coming. In New York there is of course, the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island and Freedom Tower, built on the site of the World Trade Center. In South Dakota there is Mount Rushmore - a ‘shrine to democracy'.
     We enjoy our beautiful Monuments to Freedom as well we should and revere those graveyards that honor the fallen who have defended that freedom.  For they deserve to be honored.  And thanked. Profusely.
     In the midst of our picnics of hot dogs, burgers and sodas, our dips in the pool or the lake or the boat ride on the river, in the midst of our brightly lit, loud, colorful fireworks, let’s all pause for a just a minute and think about what we are celebrating.  And then get back to dancing!


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