On this day when we celebrate the anniversary of our independence as a country I am reminded of the enduring cost of that freedom. Freedom is not a static state that once arrived at can be ignored. It is a commitment to a way of life that bears significant costs and these costs must be paid to ensure that freedom is maintained.
We have been an independent country for more than two hundred years. Over time the cost we have paid to protect freedom has taken different forms and been carried by different segments of our citizenry; yet, while we all may subscribe to the need to pay the cost to ensure our freedom we don’t all really share the same level of burden.
Today I write for those who carried the burden initially to secure our independence from Britain and those who have since carried the burden to ensure our freedom endures.
Today I write for all of those who have been willing to sacrifice everything on behalf of the ideal of freedom put forth in the Declaration of Independence - “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.”
Today I write for those who have swaddled freedom with the heart of patriots and put its value above their own existence.
Today I write for all the men and women, all the fathers and mothers, all the brothers and sisters, all the sons and daughters, all the husbands and wives, and all the best friends who have lent themselves or loved ones to actively protect this country’s freedom.
Today I write for all those who have given their lives so that our country can celebrate independence with joy and silly things like fireworks, corn-on-the-cob and barbecues.
Today I write because I am free to write in a country that places primacy on my freedom of speech.
Today I use my freedom to remember the real cost of freedom and the burden that has been carried by others.
Today I thank the patriots – all of them, living and long gone – whose strength, courage and commitment this country’s freedom was built upon. I know what the cost of freedom is and the debt of gratitude that is owed.
Day seven hundred and twenty-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da