Publisher’s Letter: On the price of freedom
If you could quantify it, what is your freedom worth? How much are you willing to pay to be able to speak your mind on issues without fear of retribution, fines or going to prison? What are you willing to give in order to be able to congregate, demonstrate, or have the right to fight for what you believe in? Can you put a price on the freedom to worship your God or no God, or even something as simple as being able to wear apparel with a message on it that others might not agree with?
The United States was founded on the principles of freedom from tyranny, religious persecution, and bullying. Russia, run by a vicious dictator, has usurped the rights of its people. China, ruled by a cunning tyrant, spies on its 1.4 billion citizens and even profiles and rates each one based on a government list of expected behaviors. North Korea, controlled by a murderer, imprisons and eliminates thousands of citizens every year.
America is different. We, the people, have the right to vote for those who lead us. We have the right to think. We have the right to act responsibly. We enjoy these freedoms, and many more besides. But freedom is not free. It was purchased with blood, sweat, and tears. Many of our brothers and sisters fought for, and died for our freedoms. We must remember them and the ultimate sacrifice they made on our behalf.
So this 4th of July, as you enjoy a family gathering in your back yard or head out to a celebration, remember those who paid the price.
Decency demands no less. Happy 4th.