The price of freedom
Excitement stirs across the country as Americans prepare to celebrate the birth of American, the land of the free and the home of the brave
By Rebecca Brittingham
Barbeques, fireworks, pool parties, bounce houses, face painting and parades are inching their way into most American homes. The colors red, white and blue draw crowds to the smallest supermarkets. Venders sit on street corners selling fireworks.
Favorite traditional patriotic songs—The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and Yankee Doodle Dandy—will be ringing in the streets, on the radio and the television. In a few days, the night sky will be painted colorfully with crackling flames which will send chills down one’s back . July 4—Independence Day—is upon us. Festivities, leading up to Independence Day, have already begun.
Today, Americans enjoy freedoms that many other countries do not. Americans choose where to work, where to drive, what to eat and where to shop.
While other countries would silence their citizens for speaking out against injustice, American citizens are encouraged to fight for justice. They have a right to vote, go to court, sign petitions and speak freely without fear of persecution. America, birthed out of a desire to preserve one’s rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” has been a haven for refugees offering renewed hope and vision.
Freedom is similar to how a pearl forms in a mollusk. Years after particles of sand enter into the mollusk, the constant rubbing and pressure transforms the sand into a beautiful priceless gem. The longer the pearl undergoes the treatment, the larger and more valuable the pearl becomes. Similarly, Freedom is a right, a privilege and a jewel that one must continue to fight for in order to preserve.
David Boaz from the Cato Institute said, “In 1776, 1950, or now, there’s never been a golden age of liberty, and there never will be. People who value freedom will always have to defend it from those who claim the right to wield power over others. … And, in today’s world, that means more than a musket by the door. It means being an active citizen.”
The freedom in America came with a cost. Men and women sacrificed their lives because establishing a democratic country was a dream worth fighting for. Frederick Carrier, a World War II veteran shared about the sacrifice he had to make during World War II. Carrier said that even with all the suffering and sacrifices that he had to make he is proud to be a veteran, one who fought to help preserve American freedoms.
As a World War II soldier, Carrier explained that he, during D-Day was required to set traps and mines for the Germans on German soil. He said that his job was to blow up the steel jacks so that when American ships arrived, they wouldn’t be destroyed. He also had to blow a hole in the seawall for the American trucks and infantry. Finally, he had to lead the infantry through the minefield. When Carrier reflected back during those years, he says that he never regrets having to make that sacrifice. Carrier said during a Memorial Day celebration, “I participate here today, because this is an opportunity for me to honor all the soldiers who died from the beginning of our country.”
It is easy to forget the price that was paid to ensure freedom in America. However, freedom is a gift that comes with a price. It must be defended or else it will cease to exist. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and lost it, have never known it again.”