Let freedom ring…
On a personal note, I’ve had some recent health news that’s worthy of celebration, news that, for me, means more freedom, more hope.
At the same time, this is Independence Day here in the States, a day that, if honored correctly, is a reminder of freedom and hope. It’s my good fortune to have been born here, born into great freedoms that are too easily taken for granted.
This country is by no means perfect and this isn’t a critique of political systems. Instead, this a personal reckoning, a moment to appreciate what I have and what others are dying to obtain even as I’m writing this.
I’m especially proud that this nation, which was inspired by many great writers and philosophers, has also produced many leaders who were also great writers. As a writer there are many pieces that have moved me with their eloquence.
From the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.
Still my most beloved historical writing came from Abraham Lincoln in one of this country’s darkest hours. Yesterday marked the end of the 1863 battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that turned the tide during the Civil War. Months later Lincoln penned the 272-word address on the back of an envelope (seriously). His speech was so brief that they weren’t able to take a picture of him delivering it.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
There are no guarantees for me, not with my health and not with my aspirations, but I’m free to pursue that which I desire to the best of my ability. For that I’m thankful to the men and women who came before me and opened the doors I now stand before. Many still are opening doors to this day.
Let freedom ring, let it resonate around this globe to create a glorious harmony everywhere so that all those who desire its sound can hold it dear, for those who desire it most are those who most deserve it.