Liberty: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

in freedom •  7 months ago

On this great American holiday, Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given all that could be given, to preserve the greatest of our American blessings. Our freedom. Our Liberty!!

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So, here in 2018, how are "we the people" doing in preserving our heritage?

In response, I am writing a short post to my fellow Steemians about a man years ago, who made a significant contribution to my understanding of this essential topic. His name is Col. Leo K. Thorsness. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war, a fellow prisoner with John McCain, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. He passed away last year, shortly before Memorial Day 2017.

As part of an earlier chapter in my life, in 1992 I was personally introduced to him while he was running to be elected a U.S. Senator from the great state of Washington. It was in his campaign, that I was introduced to something I have never forgotten. Two very simple, yet remarkably profound formulas equating the words freedom and liberty.

Freedom + Responsibility = Liberty

Col. Thorsness had much to say about what this meant. Our freedom is not free. Not even close. For example, he spoke of the civic responsibility his countrymen must exercise, to preserve the power "we the people" have been given, to elect our leaders vs. having them imposed on us.

A famous quote, from one of our founding fathers, when asked about the form of government conceived by them, replied that Americans would either be "Self governing under God or ruled over at the point of a bayonet."

Those much wiser than I could also write down volumes about our personal responsibility in life.

Freedom - Responsibility = Anarchy

Col. Thorsness also had much to say about what he perceived the future held for us, as the consequence of our failure to exercise our civic responsibility. And our personal responsibility …

At the risk of sounding a little "preachy," it is very tempting to shout, "Wake up America! It's later than you think!!"

Of course, that is just one man's opinion. Given what has transpired in the United States of America, from 1992 to the present, on Memorial Day 2018, I'll simply ask again "how are we doing?"

If there is any perceived value in doing so, thank you my fellow countrymen, for taking a little time to reflect on the answer and what we may all cherish a little too lightly. Our liberty to even talk about it!

Closing

Wherever you may be in the world, my fellow Steemians, these concepts are certainly not isolated to any one country, but are tied to absolute, universal truths. I'll close by referencing a famous phrase from our 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."

All the best to you in your own pursuits!

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Thank you @roleerob for this thought provoking post.

I am reminded of my father, a German POW in World War II, and what he shared with his children.

As you rightly say, freedom is not free!