Freedom has never been something which should be taken for granted. Life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- in current times in the United
States, these three rights have been generally
taken for granted. Often, these rights have not been taken advantage of. As
often as our freedom has been underappreciated, it has often been
overappreciated, and many have believed that having freedom means dispensation
of responsibility. I have believed that freedom should be utilized properly,
and with our freedom should come responsibility.
There are many
different types of freedom which have been enjoyed in the United
States. We have had a free market economy,
which has kept our nation thriving, while those who oppressed under the
socialist economies of Lenin and later communist leaders starved to death by
the millions. Incidentally, the American Relief Association, led by Herbert
Hoover, was stated in a letter by the Soviet government to have saved over
twenty million Soviet citizens' lives from famine; this shows that the United
States had economic freedom which allowed it to not only feed itself, but other
nations as well.
we have include the freedom of worship which was outlined in the First
Amendment. The freedom of worship has generally been taken for granted in the United
States; however, in communist nations, this
freedom was stripped or severely weakened. Those who did not agree with
anti-religious laws were persecuted under the Soviet Union,
and many to this day have still been persecuted under communist China.
More Christians have been martyred in this century than in the previous 19
combined. Even with the fall of the Soviet Union, an
estimated 160,000 Christians have been martyred throughout the world in the
past year alone.
Closely tied to
the freedom to worship has been the freedom of speech. Many negative acts have
been defended as "freedom of expression"; nevertheless, the freedom
of expression has remained one of the most valued liberties enjoyed in the United
States. In many other nations, the freedom of
speech has been shunned. In the United States,
it has been cherished. On the other hand, however, it has been abused. In
taking liberty over how people express themselves, they have often neglected
the crucial balance of freedom with responsibility. Many indecent acts have
been defended as "free speech"; in most cases, the best solution to
this dilemma is to practice personal responsibility.
which we Americans have enjoyed have not come cheaply. Most of the freedom
which has been enjoyed today was not brought about peacefully. The freedom
savored by this nation was not simply handed over by those who threatened it.
In a fantasy world, we could have obtained freedom without massive suffering;
however, we have always lived in a world of reality, a world which has been the
playground of ruthless dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. For
Nazis and Stalinists, destroying American standards of freedom was at the top
of the agenda.
leaders have taken dominion over nations, the United
States has been forced to make immeasurable
sacrifices to protect itself. In the Revolutionary War, multitudes of soldiers
gave their lives to gain independence. In the Civil War, hundreds of thousands
of soldiers died to preserve the Union, and to give emancipation to the
enslaved. In World War II, millions of soldiers died to free the rest of the
world from the grasp of the planned Third Reich. In Korea, thousands of
soldiers gave their lives in a fight to preserve freedom from communist
invaders. In Vietnam, thousands of soldiers gave their lives in an attempt to
prevent communists from gaining power. In all of these wars, those who did not
die had their lives changed forever.
immeasurable sacrifices have often been underappreciated by Americans who have
not experienced the horrors of battle. There must have been no greater
hypocrisy than to receive criticism from the people whose freedom you risked
death for, which happened after the Vietnam War. Many of those Americans like
to associate themselves with the winning sides of wars, giving credit to
themselves for winning a war they did not take part in. Many Americans who have
not fought in a war have credited themselves by saying, "We won
World War II," and other such things in which the word "we" is
used. In actuality, "we" had nothing to do with it, and made
no sacrifices. It was the soldiers who put their lives at stake who won all of
those battles, not those of us who have seen war only in motion picture.
sacrifices have been made to preserve the freedom which is enjoyed in America.
Freedom was never handed over to the United
States on a silver platter. I believe that
freedom should not be abused, and neither should it be unused. Freedom should
be practiced with responsibility, and should never be taken for granted. To do
so would be a great act of disrespect towards those who have made such immense
sacrifices to keep freedom in America.