Monday, May 21, 2007

Freedom

OK, I'm back on track. This is sort of a continuation of the post I did on free stuff.

Just as Free stuff that you pick up isn't free, freedom isn't free. I know, everyone has already read the bumper sticker that says, "Freedom isn't free", but I'm looking to make a bigger point here. But while we are on the topic, I think it's important to recognize the importance of the military's accomplishments in keeping us free. Without the revolutionary war we (speaking of those who live in the US) could still be under British rule. Without WWII we could be speaking German.

While I was in France I was having dinner with an older couple. We were talking and I mentioned that my grandfather had served in WWII. Actually both of my grandfathers were in WWII, but on opposite sides of the world. My grandfather who was in France, was in the Navy. He took loads of army troops up to the beach during some pretty major battles. He remembered dropping off loads of troops and watching many of them get shot before they could get to safety. These men sacrificed everything. The man with whom I was having dinner started to cry and asked me to tell my grandfather, "thank you". I did that before Grandpa passed away, but that experience remains vivid in my head. That man I had dinner with knew the cost of freedom. He knew that my grandfather was willing to pay the price of freedom along with many other soldiers who weren't even defending their own land.

While I think highly of our military and the sacrifices they are willing to make for our country, that wasn't the direction I wanted to go with this post. The freedoms that come with a "free" democracy demand that ordinary people take responsibility and work hard to maintain their freedoms. I was reading over at simple perspectives and started thinking about her call for people to take action on the immigration policies being considered in the U.S. Beyond military service, that is a cost of freedom. Sure we have the freedom of speech so we can argue and have our own opinions, but more importantly the citizens of a democratic country must make their opinions known. Not just ranting on a blog or writing an editorial for a newspaper, but real communication to policy-makers. The source of our freedom (the constitution and our government) requires our participation in the process in order to maintain our freedoms. The freedoms that we have are of great value and are certainly not "free". They require our participation. So many people float along in the system and never participate in democracy. For them I suppose democracy is "free", but they are also leaving themselves open to having their freedoms taken away by not standing up for them.

I'm done ranting. Maybe next time I will talk about bikes again. I like bikes and I started this blog to talk about bikes. That could be a good step for me.

2 comments:

Kate said...

Hear hear!

Emily said...

Yes. I agree. It is difficult when we raise our voices and people in political power do not listen. Thats the part I have a hard time understanding.