My apartment is on the 3rd floor and the area where I live is quite flat which makes for a wide field of vision. Tonight, there were fireworks being set off. I could hear a lot more than I could see but could see at least 4 different locations. They were far away and it was cool to see so many at once. However,a thought came to me while I was watching and made me feel very connected to our country and even our planet. My thought was: People all over this country, as far as I can see and even further, are celebrating Independence Day (Some even starting 3 days early!). Our country’s citizens are happy on the 4th of July because it is a reminder that we are free. And I thought how appreciative I am of the freedom that I was born into. I did nothing to earn this freedom that so many people do not have and I am very appreciative that I am free. But then I had a further thought: many countries have holidays recognizing a moment in time where freedom was gained. When I thought of that I felt connected to them too. But there are countries that have no such days and even countries that don’t have as many freedoms as us and I felt great compassion for them.
There were many areas in my field of view that I could see the fireworks but the area to my left I could not- but I could hear them. Without the visuals- the beautiful colors and displays- the sounds sounded, very much, sound like gun and cannon fire. And I thought what a great reminder this was. The freedom that we celebrate was gained with a lot of violence and a lot of suffering and to not have to go through that is something we must all be truly appreciative for. So many people have died or have went through pain to build this country and create a land that is a haven for free speech, free thinking, freedom of religion and free expression. We can’t forget this. We need to be constantly aware of the pain those people went through for that freedom because only then will we understand the importance of protecting them. While thinking of this I felt even more compassion for those in other countries not as fortunate as myself because they suffer greatly.
In recent times, there has been debate after debate about allowing people from countries like these into our country. Also debate about arresting reporters and “leakers”. So many stories like these are out there and more like them pop up each day. We cannot allow talk like this. We cannot allow, even one, suggestion at limiting free speech or religion, etc. And the idea that some deserve to live in America while others do not need to be discarded immediately. Most of us did nothing to live here. We were lucky, but many are not as lucky and we need to remember how important freedom is. People, thousands of people, died to create this land called The United States of America. And they did so because of the value of being able to live free. We can’t, even for one second, think of limiting that right for us; or denying that right for anyone else.
It can sometime seem that our freedoms are being threatened by wars abroad or people that are “different” but the true threat to our way of life is the way we allow politics to grow. When we vote for suppression for certain individuals or create restriction for people of a specific group we are taking away rights that are not ours to take or to give. We need to allow those who are different to be different and even welcome them here because that is what makes America great! Our diversity.
Restricting freedoms or going to war are very serious actions and come with great costs. Please remember how much pain the soldiers of the past, present and future have gone and are going through to provide these freedoms. They did this for a reason and we should not be so quick to talk of taking them away. And war should be the absolute last cast scenario. I am very appreciative for the soldiers of America and i believe the best way to show that is to remember the sacrifice and be very mindful of when we support putting those soldiers into harms way.
Remember to appreciate freedom every day Happy Fourth of July!