Today, I’d like to thank all those who have fought, are fighting and will continue to fight for our freedom. This country, with all it’s faults, is still one of the better places to live in the world.
Here are some of my thoughts for today:
My last year of high school I had to write a paper, and I wrote it on government control and power. The process was long, and it took several months to finish the final paper. During this time, my grandfather, a Vietnam and Korea vet, and I talked a great deal about what freedom meant and where this country was going. This was also the years following 9/11 and the passing of the Patriot Act. I clearly remember my grandfather telling me this:
Our forefathers fought, bled and died to give us the rights guaranteed in the constitution and the bill of rights. However, today we happily give away these rights for the sake of security that is not guaranteed.
At the time, and even more now the words of my grandfather ring true. We are happily giving away our basic rights to sit on our porch and drink beer. Nothing against drinking beer or seating on the porch or enjoying the Fourth of July, but let’s just take a moment and think about what we are giving up and if it is worth the lives that have been laid out to protect the freedoms that we take for granted.
In the Poor Richard’s Almanack published in 1738, Benjamin Franklin writes: Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” The common paraphrased version of this is: They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
So today, lets reflect and give thanks for what the 4th July really means to each of us. Lets thank not only soldiers that and veterans but the wives and mothers, their children and those civilians who stand beside them. Let’s thank teachers and historians who have kept record and educated the younger generations on what it means to be American, and what freedom is all about.
Have a happy and safe Independence day!