Every year our local Lions Club hosts an essay contest for Junior and High School students on the topic “What Freedom Means to Me.” Bon Bon decided to enter. She sat at the computer for ten minutes and typed the following out. She won first place! We went to the Lions Club 4th of July event at the park yesterday where she had to read her essay, get her picture taken, and receive her prizes ($100 Chamber check, one year subscription to the paper). Photos of our weekend follow the essay.
“Freedom to me means the ability to voice my opinions. Everyone has a voice, but very few get the opportunity to use them.
“Freedom to me means I have the right to defend my liberty if I choose to do so, against those attempting to take it away.
“Freedom to me means I have my own agency to choose, one of the most basic rights given to man in the beginning.
“Freedom to me means the reason the pilgrims came across the Atlantic in the Mayflower, the freedom to worship as they saw fit. That is a very important part of my life.
“Freedom to me means equal rights to all American citizens, male and female, whether white, black, or somewhere in between.
“Freedom to me means that we have laws that help us do right, because without a clean conscience we cannot really be free.
“Freedom to me means a good government system, the best in the world, that is governed by the people, and for the people.
“Freedom to me means gratitude to the God that has blessed us with such a beautiful country, and to those who help us retain it, in big ways or small.
“Freedom to me means courage. It means the bravery of everyone who chooses to stand up and say no, everyone with the courage to become a hero.
“Freedom means that when I am old enough, I can choose my own profession. I decide where I live, and who I marry. Others in the world don’t have that privilege.
“And yet freedom is not free. It means the “Ultimate Sacrifice” of thousands of men and women on the battle field. It means the grief and the pain of the family and friends of the casualties of war, those who died protecting the liberty of not only Americans, but of everyone, of every nationality.
“To use the inspired words of Francis Scott Key, in the last verse of our National Anthem.
“Oh, thus be it ever
When free men shall stand
Between their loved homes
And the war’s desolation
Blest with victory and peace
May the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made
And preserved us a nation!
“Then conquer we must
When our cause it is just
And this be our motto:
In God is our trust!
And the star-spangled banner
In triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave
“Freedom to me, means America.”
Here’s our July 4th celebrations in picture form.