Compared to many countries around the world, the United States of America is still free, indeed. The Fourth of July is a good opportunity to take a look at that freedom and how we got it.
Our forefathers gave up everything familiar to them in the countries they left behind to make the trek across the ocean and begin a life in this new land. It cost them everything that was familiar to them. Once they left their homelands, families and friends behind, many of them never laid eyes on those places or people again for the rest of their lives.
They fought a revolution to break away from being ruled by a governing body that was so out of touch with the needs and tribulations of common men and women. They refused to have taxes levied on them that they couldn’t pay. The blood and sweat of the colonists was never intended to support the flamboyant and extravagant lifestyles of the ruling class in a land half way around the world. They were willing to die for the dream that their children and children’s children would not have to exist under such tyranny.
They fought a Civil War to insure the freedom of all men and women regardless of race, color, religion, or political affiliation so that the gift of freedom in the United States was extended to all who enter here.
They fought in World Wars I and II to protect the United States and the world from being ruled by mad men who dared to think they could bully their way to the top and crush anyone who opposed their reign and rule.
Our servicemen and women have fought on foreign soil since then to try to protect the innocent abroad and safeguard all they hold dear at home. Many have lost their lives fighting in countries they never had laid eyes on before, and for people whose language and culture they couldn’t even understand because the concept of freedom and protecting the innocent was a driving force in them.
Our freedom exists only because of those who had a dream for such a place as the United States and were willing to fight and lay down their lives if necessary to keep that dream alive.
We are living on the edge of a razor at this time in history. The United States is both envied and hated for the freedoms that still exist today. There are those that want to be like us as well as those whose dream it is to utterly crust us as a world power and as a democracy.
Many of our citizens do not cherish the price that was paid to bring us this far, and do not appreciate what they have. If our freedom should ever be threatened on these shores, who would come to our defense? Who would stand and fight?
I am afraid that freedom means far more to those who don’t have it than those who do and have paid nothing for it.
The Declaration of Independence which was signed on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress. July 4 has become known as the date celebrated as the birth of independence. It is a federal holiday set apart to pay tribute to the independence of this nation.
On this year’s Fourth of July, we would all do well to stop and consider all of the implications of what this date stands for and celebrate the gift of freedom we enjoy today.