Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigues of acquiring it.-Thomas Paine
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July 4th, 1776 was one of the most memorable days in the history of this country, as well as, in lives of its inhabitants. One of the greatest documents in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, was drafted signed and sealed endowing us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, a new nation was born under this single document. With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” That final line in the Declaration illustrated the price they were willing to pay for their complete freedom. This was a blessed hour in our nations history, one of those rare occasions in the lives of men when we had everything, even greatness, to spare. All fifty-six men who signed this decree knew they were sacrificing everything. They were completely aware that years of adversity, destitution, and a struggling nation was the best to be expected even if they won the struggle. Even so, if they lost, they would face worse, death. Knowingly, they endorsed the decree and they did, in truth, pay the price.
So I ask what, in that case, is freedom worth to you? In view of that, one must be capable of unquestionably defining freedom before having legitimate grounds for defending it. Freedom is the ability to act without the initiation of force (or its threat) being used against you. You have a right to freedom because your life is your property, yours to live as you see fit. If you are free, you have the unrestricted ability to pursue your own happiness, to make those choices needed for the nourishment of your own life. Merely “having choices” does not parallel or even exemplify the true meaning of freedom; it is, rather, one of the advantages of being free.
There are actually very few things that are truly free: things for which there can be or is no price. Freedom! One might look upon this word and inevitably imply that it has no price. Nevertheless, not even is freedom free; it came with a terrible price. Many men and women have sacrificed their lives for the freedom that you and I enjoy today. At this day and age, freedom should not be taken for granted; cherish it without a doubt. It was something we craved for so long but could not obtain. With freedom, now within our grasps, it will not be evaded. In spite of everything, we, at this day in time, still sacrifice to secure this claim.
Yet, what price freedom? I’ve asked this question over and over. I have inquired of my peers, as well as, my elders, but somehow it seems to elude them. In all of my inquires, I have finally found that some sacrifices certainly must be made. Ones pledge to procure this desire is directly corresponding to the amount of sacrifice, which he willingly endures to attain that desire. What is driving drunk worth to anyone in terms of sacrifice? Would you be willing to die for this right or even sacrifice any of your other inalienable rights for the cause? Do you ever wonder what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence? Of the fifty-six, few were long to survive. They cherished their liberty more than their own lives. They lived up to their pledge and paid the ultimate price.
Ultimately, America has paid and nonetheless, still pays a high price for its extreme freedom. Thus, as long as American society compels itself to utter freedom, it will always have to pay this high price. In the famous words of Douglas MacArthur, No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation. We have fought and bled for freedom. We once lived and died for it. This is the price we paid. Yesterday was our history. Tomorrow remains a mystery. So enjoy the gift of freedom today has offered because we may not know when it could be wrenched from our grasp.
What then, is freedom worth to you?
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