Thursday, July 19, 2007

Freedom - what it means is hosting an essay contest asking what freedom means to you and what would you to do protect freedom. The top 5 winners will receive a copy of Marcus Luttrell's Sole Survivor.
Anyway, here are my thoughts...

Freedom sometimes seems so abstract because we have had it so long that we take it for granted. We can go where we please or speak our minds when we feel the need to, we can practice the religion of our choice, or own a weapon if we want to. There are many things that we can do because of our freedom but it goes deeper than that. If you think about it, living without freedom wouldn’t really be living as much as it would just be existing, living without hope, without dreams, or worse yet, living in fear.

Hope is a powerful, magical thing, it is based on the faith that somehow, someway everything will work out okay. Hope is intrinsic to our ability to thrive and succeed in life. Hope is innate in all of us as Americans, because we have the freedom to hope for our future, and it is because of that freedom that we have the God given right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Hope enables us to strive for the American dream. It also enables us to be thankful for the blessings we already have, although all too often we take them for granted. I have hope that someday our world can live in peace, but I realize that as Thomas Jefferson put it so well “"From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." If we truly wish to be free, we must defend that freedom with everything we have.

Over 60 years ago Winston Churchill said, "Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case; you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." That idea applies today more than ever. If we don’t fight them now, someday soon we will be fighting them in our neighborhoods where our children play, and if they won, I would rather die and take as many of them with me. Health issues have prevented me from the honor of serving America in our military, so I do what I can to support those who have chosen this courageous path. Even so, if it ever came down to making that choice, I would freely give my life, because I never want to live in a world where there is no freedom and no hope.

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