Ok, on the subject of Freedom.*drumroll* a shorter version compared to the last entry, this may be kind of redundant...(but David, if you're reading this, this is the edited article...I'm not sure if I need to edit it any more or not)But anyway, this one isn't a speech, its an article which explains the difference in the way its formatted and written....
We Stand here, on the only island of freedom that is left in the whole world. There is no place to flee to...no place to escape to. We defend our freedom here, or it is gone. There is no place for us to run. Only make a stand, and if we fail, I think we face telling our children, and our children's children, what it is we found more precious than freedom. Because I am sure that someday-if we fail- there will be a generation that will ask. Ronald Reagan.
Freedom is one of the many things that we have a tendency to take for granted in this country. We use it each and every day. Yet how many of us take the time to really think about the cost of Freedom? How much did it cost us to obtain and continues to cost us to keep? Why is our freedom valuable?
How many of us fully understand that our freedom can and is being taken away?
First and foremost, how much does freedom cost?
Freedom's cost consists mainly of 2 parts: Lives and money.
To obtain freedom (in 1775) 25,324 lives were lost. Today we can hardly imagine what that must have been like to fight England; The World's super power at the time, with a rag tag militia. That same spirit, the yearning for freedom and defense of it, is evident throughout these next wars from 1775 until October of 2005, 1,298,391 soldiers have died defending our Country and our freedom. Over one million lives lost in defense of our freedom, and our national sovereignty. The millions of American lives lost prove that people believe that freedom is worth fighting and dying for! Those numbers alone show that Freedom is valuable. Especially because soldiers are still putting their lives on the line, so that you and I can live in a country where we have the Freedom to worship any way we see fit, to stand up and be counted...or choose not to!
Freedom, while the cost can be measured in lives lost, also has a large monetary cost. The following chart from the American War Library has the numbers on how much money has been spent in wars, to gain and protect our freedom.
• American Revolution: $3.2 billion.
• War of 1812: $1 billion.
• Mexican War: $1.8 billion.
• Civil War: $50 billion Union, $21.8 billion Confederacy.
• Spanish-American War: $6.5 billion.
• World War I: $588 billion.
• World War II: $4.8 trillion.
• Korean War: $408 billion.
• Vietnam War: $584 billion.
• Persian Gulf War of 1991: $82 billion. Contributions from U.S. allies ended up covering more than 90 percent of this war's costs.
• Operation Iraqi Freedom: $159 billion, as of 10 Sept 2003.
Billions, even trillions of dollars have been spent just to ensure our freedom!
Now, we can make the logical assumption, that if Freedom costs that many lives, and that much money to obtain and to keep, than it must be important.
People don't volunteer to be put in a position where they could die, for something that they don't think is important enough to protect. Yet, over one million Soldiers have died, and those numbers don't even include the ones that were taken as Prisoners or War, Missing in Action, wounded, or still fighting!
Ronald Reagan once said that "Freedom is a fragile thing and is only one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation for it only comes once to a people. Those who have known freedom and lost it have never known it again." I thank God that we have always had a generation ready and willing to defend that freedom, and I pray that we will continue to have those brave Americans ready and willing to defend it.
Our freedom is so valuable not only because of the money spent, not only because it is less than one generation away from being lost. It is so valuable because we have always had a generation willing to pay the price.
That is what makes the following so grievous; they have protected our freedoms on the foreign front. However, our freedoms are slowly but surely being taken away on our domestic front.
While we have the US Military protecting us on the foreign front, we have groups like the ACLU trying to undermine our rights on the domestic front.
In past and recent history, the first amendment has been one issue in which certain organizations have tried to take away the freedom of religion and our freedom of speech.
The first amendment reads: Congress shall make no law Respecting Establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
So in other words, congress isn't allowed to dictate that you are only allowed to worship whatever god they deem appropriate, and you can only do so in a certain way, and in certain areas.
This Freedom however, has constantly been attacked over the last few decades. Not only by foreign threats, but by our own United States Supreme Court! This is also happening in our own public schools!
In "Syracuse, New York,(1999) Antonio Pecks' kindergarten teacher at Catherine McNamara Elementary School gave Antonio the assignment of creating a poster that would depict what could be done to save the environment. Antonio drew a picture of Jesus praying in the captioned drawing, "The only way to save the world" and "loves changes things". The teacher refused to display the picture saying that it promoted one religion over another. (Of course Anthony [Antonio] was promoting his religion over others, but it was Anthony doing the promoting, not the school.) Anthony went back to the drawing board and sketched people picking up garbage with a robed man beside them kneeling with his hands raised to heaven. The robed man was not identified as Jesus. The teacher agreed to display the second poster but on the condition that the part showing the robed man was folded over so it could not be seen. The Pecks have sued the school for religious discrimination and denial of free speech" ("Persecution" by David Limbaugh Pg. 38 paragraph 2)
There are many more instances like this in the book "Persecution" by David Limbaugh. But it doesn't end there, things like this are still happening today!
The fact that this actually happened to a KINDERGARTENER in AMERICA is amazing! Our First Amendment rights are slowly, but surely being usurped. And this is just one of many evidences of it.
You might say...well it is only the first amendment, it's not like we're going to have our right to a trial by jury taken away or the right to vote or anything like that.
Not only is the 1st amendment being taken away, our 10th amendment is constantly being overridden by the federal government. The 10 th Amendment reads: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
That means that if the rights were not granted to the federal government specifically in the constitution, or if the rights were not prohibited to the States by the Constitution then those rights belong to each of the 50 States or to the Citizens.
Constantly the government has tried to, and has overridden this amendment. I consider this amendment to be one of, if the not THE most important amendment to our Constitution because that amendment preserves the sovereignty of the States to govern themselves. Yet, the federal government is overstepping its Constitutional bounds and interfering with decisions that should be made by the states individually.
In a recent Supreme Court decision, we passed something called "Eminent Domain". Eminent Domain means that if a Developer like Wal-Mart wanted your land so they could build, they are allowed to do so WITHOUT your consent, if they can prove that it will benefit the county.
Not only does this take away you're constitutional right to own property, but ALSO overrides the 10 th amendment. It is not the federal Government's job to say that if someone comes along that wants to develop your land than you must give it to them.
What we need in this country is a generation that is willing to stand up for what we believe and fight on the domestic front as well as the foreign front. We need a generation that remembers what freedom Costs. We need a generation that has the courage and the perseverance to take a stand and make a difference. Ronald Reagan said that " Freedom is a fragile thing and is only one generation away from extinction" don't let our generation be the one that loses it by forgetting how important our freedom is, Let our generation be the one that impacts society and preserves it.