Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Freedom: Happy 4th!

Freedom. Wester defines freedom as "the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; or the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous." Arising out of the bed this morning, I realized how often I take my freedom for granted. We live in a free nation today because of the sacrifice and dedication of so many men and women who voluntarily place their lives on the line for our great country.

Though I chose not to enter the military, many of my family members bravely protected our country during the war. My father served in Vietnam on the USS Coontz.

Both of my brothers faithfully served in the US Navy. Dean Kirby served our country from 1991-1995 based in Charleston, SC. He performed his duties on the USS Wainwright (CG 28 Guided Missile Cruiser). My youngest brother, Doug Kirby, served in Sardinia, Italy from 1993-1996 on the USS Simon Lake (AS33 Auxiliary Supply Repair Ship).

To these men who mean so much to me, I salute your courage and bravery. Sadly, many of us only remember our living and fallen soldiers during days of celebration like July 4th. Our country is what it is today for the greatness found in sacrifice. Americans across our nation must never forget the foundation of what our country was built upon. Let us take a moment today and embrace the historical and ideological relics of freedom that has resulted in much sacrifice and bloodshed.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Our founding fathers held a deep faith in their God who brought them over from Europe and gave them a new beginning in a new land. They left for us a legacy that continues today. However, many are stripping that faith and freedom given to us by our forefathers and countless others. Now is the time to stand for the truth.

French Writer and politician Alexis de Tocqueville noted over a century ago:“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in the fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good -- and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

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