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An Appreciation of Freedom

Updated on November 7, 2012

LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.
Samuel Adams

Powerful words from a man who understood the precious nature of freedom. Adams’ ancestors had lived under what they believed to be tyranny, and the seeds of freedom had been planted in Adams in his youth, to be watered, fed, and cared for, until the seeds became strong plants and bore fruit. He understood all too well the nature of freedom, the value of freedom, and the necessity of freedom.

I am of the belief that freedom is taken for granted in the United States today, and in other supposedly free societies around the world. Despite the problems that we face in society today, we still get up every day, stretch our tired old bones, and go about our business with minimal interference from government. There are those who rail against what they perceive to be loss of freedoms, and I understand their unrest and I agree with them in principle. Freedom is a commodity that must always be safe-guarded, for once one small increment of freedom is taken away, the door has been opened for more restrictions, until one day you wake up and do not recognize the land you embraced as your own since birth.

Still, I believe to truly appreciate freedom, one must live without it for a period of time, like Adams did and those of his generation.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. | Source

I HAVE A DREAM

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood the nature of freedom, as did all blacks during the 50’s and 60’s. I still have vivid memories of signs that announced “whites only,” posted on restaurants and buses, rest rooms and shops. It can certainly be argued, and with great conviction, that the blacks in the United States are still not economically free today, but there can be no one who doubts that fifty years ago freedom did not exist for that race.

King did not live to see his dream become a reality, but most certainly his children have, and many of his followers have also. Theirs is a true appreciation of freedom, for part of their lives was marked by the stigma of bondage, and once bondage is cast aside true appreciation occurs.

THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Why is a woman to be treated differently? Woman suffrage will succeed, despite this miserable guerilla opposition.
Victoria Woodhull

Ms. Woodhull understood the meaning of freedom, and she certainly understood the longing for it. Today women by the millions go forth and vote for candidates. It is expected and it is right, but it was not always so. Today it is Constitutionally guaranteed, but it was not always so.

It should come as no surprise to learn that there are still cultures in the world today where suffrage does not exist. There are still cultures in the world today where women are married in an arranged business contract between families. There are still cultures in the world today where women are bought and sold. Do you suppose, if they suddenly experienced freedom, that they would appreciate it?

A young woman was recently shot in the head for speaking out about freedom in the Middle East. How do you suppose she feels about the rights of women and suffrage? Do you suppose she will one day gain an appreciation for freedom, something we in the United States take for granted?

Lady Liberty
Lady Liberty | Source

FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, THEY COME IN SEARCH

“ Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Every year they come by the hundreds of thousands, crammed into containers on cargo ships and floating on rafts as they cross the ocean towards freedom. There is that word again…..freedom!

They risk political retribution, oftentimes death, without a doubt hate and scorn, and still they strive to reach a country that promises liberty and justice.

Do you suppose, when they reach our shores, that they have an appreciation of freedom? Do you suppose they have some concept of what freedom means?

"Bill, we fought for freedom."
"Bill, we fought for freedom." | Source

“BILL, WE FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM.”

Those words were spoken to me by my father when I asked him why he had fought in World War 2. There was no hesitation in his answer; he did not have to reflect before speaking. He fought in five campaigns in Italy, faced death on several occasions, and to his way of thinking it was all about freedom, a nebulous concept that means oh so much more when carrying a rifle and hugging the ground as rounds fly by overhead.

When Rome had finally been liberated he spoke of the thousands on the streets, cheering the soldiers, embracing each other and tears flowing freely. I suspect that those in Rome during those final days understood and appreciated freedom, just as those did who were freed from the prisoner-of-war camps during the latter stages of the war, and those who somehow survived the concentration camps.

America the Beautiful by Ray Charles

Do you appreciate your freedom?

See results

DO WE UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE?

It is so easy to give lip-service to something like freedom. Those of us who have never known oppression, never known slavery, and never known serious restrictions to our liberties, go about our days reaping the benefits of a principle that was paid for with blood, sweat and tears.

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”
Bob Dylan

And that is the whole point now isn’t it? Few of us have fought for freedom. Few of us have had freedom taken from us. For the majority of us, freedom has been given to us as a right of birth, and it will be as much a part of our lifetime as breathing.

There is, however, a responsibility that comes with that right of birth. When we accept that gift, we are also accepting the responsibility to promote freedom for all human beings. To do otherwise is to practice hypocrisy to the extreme. This is not a case of the chosen few reaping the benefits while others scrounge for the table scraps. It must be freedom for all or else freedom has no meaning.

Whenever the rights of the few are infringed upon, it is my responsibility to stand up and speak. Whenever freedoms are limited I cannot, in good conscience, turn my head and pretend not to see. I cannot pull the curtains, lock the door, and adopt an attitude of every man and woman for themselves, not when a commodity as precious as freedom is at stake.

When you wake up tomorrow morning, look to the heavens and thank whichever god you believe in for your freedom, but also remind yourself that the freedom that you take for granted can be lost if vigil is not kept and action is not taken.

There are no shortcuts to freedom. There are no abridged versions nor are there any discounts on the price that must be paid. That price must be paid by you, and you, and you, and yes, by me, and it must be a steep and dear price; otherwise, the value of freedom will be depreciated and what was once taken for granted will remain no longer.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      We are lucky in America to be blessed with freedoms in all areas of our lives. I only hope it stays that way. You expressed it well. The country is settling down to what they have chose to continue to run the country. I hope that the world here gets better and better. The people have made the choice and that is true freedom. As you said we get up and shake out our weary bones and know are free and safe. Thanks for sharing all this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I was of course talking about my weary bones. I'm sure you don't have any since you are so much younger than I am. :)

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well and happy, and that you have a great day.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

      Well said, Billybuc! Well said!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      We who live in politically free countries often take things for granted! Well said, Bill!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      True, true and true again. I wake up each morning, thankful. I love this hub, the way it was written felt like you were speaking right to me. The last thought, perfect! It couldn't have been said better. You may or may not know this. I am not an Obama supporter. Frankly, I wasn't crazy about Romney either. That being said, I AM an American and I still need to step up and take responsibility for my actions and their impact on America's future. I hope everyone reads this hub today and I will help by sharing. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dexter! I greatly enjoyed your latest as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, it was an interesting election and now it is done. I would just like to see a little less hate in this country and a lot more positive action by all parties. If we work together we can achieve great things; the in-fighting needs to end.

      Thank you my friend; have a great day!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hear, hear! You have a great day, as well, Bill!

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 4 years ago from NJ

      I so agree. Beautiful, one person's passion can

      make a difference.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Freedom is something that many Americans definitely have learned to take for granted Bill, me myself and I have definitely done so many countless times as a child, and young adult, but as for today I cherish each and every millisecond I have on this precious planet.

      I just wish many more people can think as you do bro, because through your awesome writings I can detect the presence of your true and living human spirit, and the fact that your heart beats for the likes of others, and not just for yourself.

      Selflessness is the key, love is the key, and taking real kindhearted and caring actions equates to true freedom to me, and only when people decide to stop being greedy, to stop being so selfish, and so hateful will true freedom ring across all of the lands, and you and I both know that that factor of being a human being is terribly hard to change in people, because it take shear sacrifice, and the letting go of animosity against one another.

      Bro your hub need to become known by all walks of life, and I will do what I can to share it everywhere, so such a fact can come to be, and what your mind is saying to us all, will actually help more folks then just a small percentage. Bill you speak the truth, I love what you've done on Hubpages, and as your good friend, I mean that from the bottom of my heart, you mean well.

      I hope the world can see what has happened between two mostly unknown dudes, we have merged our hearts, and our minds, and proven that Unifying as a team is possible, and even though we have digital barriers, and miles of land that separate us both. You are a real dude, who cares, and so this message and your hub shall be remembered forever bro!

      Love your friend Mike Pugh, your Cloud Explorer......

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Sometimes we do not realize the value of what we have till we loose it. This really very true. We should be responsible to preserve and promote the freedom that we have. Great write. Voted up and shared.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Very well said Bill, So much is taken for granted, So many misunderstand the true meaning of the word and instead replace it with "Me, myself and I."

      Thank you for writing this.Mark

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 4 years ago

      Freedom is a blessing most people undermine and take forgranted.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, couldn't have said it better. As a woman, I have never taken the right to vote for granted and remember growing up my grandmother telling me how others fought the good fight for me and women. Thank you for your reminder here and have of course voted and shared all over!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Randi!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cathy, thank you, and it's nice having you following me. I will get over to your site soon, but first there are customers to make happy. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you and of course I agree. We have what so many do not have; this is a good time of year to give thanks for our freedom.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Qudsia, very true my friend. Thank you for the visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I grew up with a great appreciation for freedom. My distant relative was Belva Lockwood, the first female lawyer to argue in front of the Supreme Court. That woman did not take freedom for granted. :)

      Thank you as always my dear friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A sobering hub Billy ;but so so needed to be aired.

      At the moment I feel so strongly about many important issues which so many have tried to push under the carpet so to speak.

      This goes on all over the world.

      Freedom is what we all deserve and sometimes we must take a stand and not expect someone else to do this for us;otherwise it simply becomes a never ending chain.

      Thank you so very much for this powerful and well written article.

      I vote up and share.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, you are oh so right my friend! It is freedom for everyone or freedom for none! Thank you buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you as always! I am right there with you my friend; I cannot remain silent while injustice is happening. Not everyone wants to hear it but oh well, they don't have to read my hubs if that is the case. :)

      You are a blessing, and I wish you blessings today and always.

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you just spoke a huge truth....we are unknowns, two strangers from different backgrounds and areas of life, and yet we have connected on a human level because, well, our hearts were open and receptive. Why can't it be that way for everyone? All it takes is a willingness to meet others on a human level. That doesn't seem to be too hard, does it?

      Thank you my friend; you are as loyal as they come and I appreciate you. They told me when I started out that my kind of writing would not gather many views or comments.....well guess what? LOL

      For those of us who speak the truth, and of course I include you, there will always be people who will read and listen.

      Thank you buddy; wishing you peace and happiness today and all days.

      bill

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, what a beautiful reminder of our history and the freedom fighters who sacrificed so that we could maintain our voice in the determination of our own future. In spite of our feelings about the election, we are the most fortunate, the most blessed, and the most free people on earth. Amen!

      Awesome and beautiful!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very fitting tribute to Freedom, at a time when we all should be practicing a basic right to vote--which most of us take for granted. I have to admit, that while I enjoy my freedom and know on some level how lucky I am, I was born with these rights and I've never had to fight for them. I agree that you might have to have freedom taken away from you before you can truly truly appreciate it. But you did remind me yet again, how lucky I am. And I thank you for that!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I completely agree my friend! I hope some of this hate is behind us now that the election is over, and we can come together as a country. Thank you as always; you are so good to me. :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      You speak the truth so well. My family grew up in times where color was an issue. I distinctly remember traveling across the country with my family - dad being transferred from one army base to another. There were nights when the family had to sleep in the car because we were "colored" and refused accommodation based on that fact alone. I'm one who values the freedom people have worked so hard for and lost their lives for. I don't want to get all political here, but when I see a government slowly moving toward taking that freedom away, it saddens me to think of all the sacrifices people made to get us to a place toward freedom only to have it shrink away by the decisions of people in charge of how we get to live in this country. I cherish my freedom and pray that it will continue and that my children will have the same or more freedom in the world in which they grow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mpropp, I'm pretty sure we all need a reminder about this; I know I certainly do. :) I need to remember just how lucky I am to be living in this country. Thank you my friend; your visits are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, thank you for weighing in on this, and for sharing personal experiences. I don't think the younger generation has any idea how far we have come in fifty years; I remember the lack of freedom in this country, and I remember the struggles taken to fight for those freedoms. I agree completely; once one freedom is taken away, and then another...when does it stop?

      Thank you my friend!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Magnificient words William! All too often that little word Freedom is just that: a word. We need to remember it as a thought, a dream, a wish. Remember too it is an action. Freedom doesn't just happen: it has been earned through blood, sweat, and tears by those who came before us with those dreams, and has been left to us as a legacy. Do not allow it to die out! We must keep it alive for those who come after us, and as a hope for all who need, who fear, who desire to attain through action. The enemy of Freedom is inactivity, selfishness, callousness, and being immune to the injuries done to all by those who desire to rule us. Your opening lines from Samuel Adams are as true today as they were lo those many years ago. You have reached into the hearts of America with this one, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I thank you Sir! I believe completely that inaction and complacency are the two biggest threats to the freedoms we have in this country. The day we turn our heads and ignore questionable actions is the days we forfeit our freedom. I hope I never see that day.

      I appreciate you, as always, for taking the time to leave such great comments.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Truly a proud hub. I owe many young lives lost for my being able to type these words on your hub. The freedom to express ourselves, vote, share colorful cultures and equal pay for all is often taken for granted. I count myself among those as the simplest of tasks are completed with out the thought for so many others who may die when attempting such things.

      Thank you

      From a proud Daughter of a Vet.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      “Still, I believe to truly appreciate freedom, one must live without it for a period of time. . .” Truer words were never spoken, Billybuc.

      I don’t believe that the average native-born American understands what freedom is. I know that one time I did not. I wish every American could spend two weeks without freedom, so they could understand what freedom truly means. If I sound harsh, believe me, I can tell you what it is like to have your every move monitored. Picture a naïve young American woman spending two weeks in the Soviet Union during Perestroika. Several times our Russian guide grabbed me by the arm and told me I couldn’t do something I was about to do because I would likely go to prison if I were seen by the KGB. It was always something I took for granted to be reasonably within my rights.

      For example, It was an imprisonable offense to use anything but Russian currency unless we made purchases in a foreign currency store. We could go into a legitimate business with Russian money and make a purchase, but this day we were at an outdoor market and I saw something I wanted very badly. The guide told me not to buy it. I had rubles, and I told her so. She adamantly told me not to buy ANYTHING and herded us back onto the bus. Sure enough, she was hauled off our bus and questioned for 20 minutes. She returned white and shaking. The KGB was suspicious that we were using American currency at this market. No one had bought anything at all, but it was a close call.

      There were a number of similar incidents, but that was the worst. Well, except for the guy from Little Rock who was questioned at our hotel by the KGB, and I’ve forgotten what he did. We were afraid we would never see him again, but he bribed his way out of it with cigars! We were very relieved when that plane flew outside the Soviet borders and landed in Helsinki. But I will tell you that my loss of freedom for those two weeks was priceless! It taught me what freedom really is, and to give it more than lip service.

      When I returned, my husband, who had been a spook during the Vietnam War and refused to go with me, asked me if I still was a naïve American. I gave him an emphatic “NO!”

      Voted you up, useful, and interesting!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, from the proud son of a Vet, to the proud daughter of a Vet....thank you!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, reading that your father helped to liberate Rome during WWII gives me goosebumps. It is because of men such as your father that I have been able to travel to Rome to enjoy the history, culture, food and people of Italy. Who knows where we would all be today if not for people willing to do what is necessary and right without question. Many thanks. Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I am blessed! I never had to fight for the freedoms I enjoy each and every day. I have nothing but the deepest respect for those who have paid the price so that I can be free.

      Thank you Bill; you are appreciated.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      A topic near and dear to me, as to most Americans. Your poll was excellent, in that it introduced the ambiguity that many hold freedom. After last night's election, as our nation heads to the strictures of an economy planned planned by expert overseers, , I am reminded of the words of a great man. "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." President Ronald Reagan

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thank you so much for that comment. That's exactly what I am talking about. Being deprived of basic rights and freedom for two weeks would be a real eye-opener for many people, me included. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in that kind of fear, but I do know that hearing about it from other people keeps me very appreciative.

      The term "naive American" is certainly applicable here. Few will ever understand what you have witnessed, or what millions live under each and every day.

      Thank you for a great comment my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rfmoran, you used a quote I am very familiar with and which is very applicable here. Freedom must be guarded at all cost. Sadly, only a few will stand up when it appears that freedom is being restricted....sadly, only a few will even notice. :)

      Thank you Sir!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nicely said. The women of Pakistan are sometimes burned by their husbands with gasoline being lit. I have seen some horrible photos of this. Domestic violence is a fact of life in some countries and the husband goes scott free for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Deb....heck, there is slavery in the United States. I, for one, am very appreciative of my freedom.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Wonderful hub! We've come a long way and freedom is precious. I am a happy camper. " I believe we will all come together for the good of our nation " President Obama..

    • tammybarnette profile image

      Tammy Barnette 4 years ago

      Billybuc, Fantastic hub! Freedom is so taken for granted. My husband and I often say that we are happy we had the struggles we had in life, because we appreciate everything we have and every new day. I do believe we complain too much in this country, we argue about semantics, if we ever had to truly "fight" for everything; for food, shelter, safety; we would surely appreciate what most of us have today. Thank you for such a well written reminder of how lucky we are in this country.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      What a timely hub,bill.

      My kid is in cub scouts and his den will be talking about citizenship, rights, duties, responsibilities and I will reading this to them.

      America's history is precious but we hardly ponder over it.

      Voted up as useful and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I'm a happy camper too, for many of the same reasons. Thank you kind lady!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, thank you so much! Obviously I agree with everything you said. I think Americans tend to nitpick over the little stuff and forget about the big stuff....like freedom.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, I saw a study once about how little the average American knows about history and citizenship....it was quite sad. :) Thank you my friend; I hope you are well and happy!

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Your point is well taken, dear Bill. We must always be vigilant about losing the freedoms that exist in our lives. Whether we are fighting for freedom within a relationship where someone is trying to control us, or freedom from laws (such as the Patriot Act) that undermine our freedoms, we must always be ready to defend, and hopefully, restore them.

      With this 2012 election, I was seeing the possibility of the U.S. being thrown back several decades, especially when it comes to the rights of women. However, momentarily, I believe, the storm has passed.

      I so agree with your powerful hub that we must never rest easy about freedom.

      Thank you for a very important hub__and for caring so deeply for all of us!

      In faith,

      Reba

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, I think many of us breathed a sigh of relief about eleven o'clock last night. :) Don't even get me started about the Patriot Act. It reminds me of the nursery verse about a wolf in sheep's clothing.

      Thank you my friend; I care deeply, as I know you do, because.....well, what would it say about us if we didn't? :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Bill - I'm passing this beautiful and inspiring hub on to my grandchildren. It will help them to appreciate how precious freedom is.

      Too many of us take our freedom for granted.

      I love your hubs. You help us all to have a greater appreciation for all of life. Voted up and across and of course, sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a powerful and very inspiring hub, Bill! You have made some excellent and very important points about freedom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words and now I believe I need to read a new hub by you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, coming from you my dear, that is high praise. You are one of the writers I respect greatly, not just as a writer but as a person as well. Thank you my dear.

      May happiness be your constant companion,

      bill

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill - Let Freedom Ring! When we're young, we can only think of the freedoms of living on our own. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the freedoms around for the youth of today to enjoy. Freedom takes work, though, and the youth of today are missing many of the basics that somehow got lost in the shuffle. As political correctness continues it's trek to destroy the individual and make all the same in behavior and thought, freedom must be fought for and never allowed to be cast aside. At current, we still have many freedoms. Yet, the last ten years have seen many cast aside, especially in free speech and privacy. We've got to keep our awareness and stop the dominoes from falling. Great Job, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, so many of these "lost" freedoms seemed to have occurred thanks to 9/11....if anything, these past eleven years have made me more aware of my own government and the dangers that are there, not overseas. :) I hate being cynical and yet I do it so well. LOL

      Thank you Sir!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. You did a good job. But as you know, we are not as free as when you and I left home. It is up to today's citizens to get back the freedoms we lost.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Billy

      This is such an important area of our lives here in the United States that is taken for granted. You have captured vividly and poignantly so many truths about freedom and our responsibility that comes with it.

      This has been a topic that is close to my heart and spills over into conversation and writing often.

      My Father fought in WWI and WWII and remained loyal to our country till is death at age 93. He reminded us almost daily that is was our good fortune to be born in a country where we are allowed so many freedoms that others can not imagine.

      All we need to do most days is to read or listen to the news of the world and we will find some where in the world where freedom has been abused or is nonexistent.

      Some of our freedoms have been bruised a bit and that might be the beginning of a loss of our precious freedom. As you state, we must be vigilant and be our own watchdogs for our freedom lest it is lost forever. Voted up and ++++++++ Thanks so very much for causing us to pause once again and consider how blessed we are.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Thanks for a very apt and timely reminder, Bill. We should all be more aware of how precious, and fragile, the gift of freedom is. Sometimes I am reminded that, but for the grace of God, I could have been born in a communist or militantly Islamic society, and would have been enslaved to someone else's ideology. What a blessing to be a citizen of the USA!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, those are true words; freedoms are disappearing and will continue to do so if we don't stand up and speak out.

      Thank you Martin!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, great comment and thank you for sharing about your father. I fear little freedoms are disappearing, and because they are little, and spaced out, we hardly pay them any notice. That, to me, is dangerous! I'm the guy in the church tower who keeps ringing the bell, hoping someone will respond. :)

      Thank you my friend; I always enjoy your comments.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, it truly is a blessing to be born here; sometimes I write these hubs to remind myself of all I have to be thankful for.

      Thank you once again for a great comment and for visiting.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Ah, Bill - Thank you for this - especially this morning!

      I've just spent some very depressing moments over at a hub who's only purpose is to keep this nation firmly divided!

      Again, i rarely comment on hubs such as that - as it's ALWAYS a complete waste of time and energy - BUT - of course, this time i had to..

      Today, i am looking up the definition of TREASON - because if these extremists (YES, extremists) don't stop - there's gonna be civil war..

      Interestingly, while i read 'across the aisle' - THEY DON"T - they exist in their fat, white, rich, toxic little bubble - and - they wanna share the poison - not the wealth!

      Have you heard of how HORRIBLY the republican polls were skewed, Bill? And - did you hear their response to the accusation that they lied and cheated regarding them?

      Their OFFICIAL response - VIA MEDIA - was that they are entitled to their own facts and their own reality.

      Period..

      what else need be said?

      sigh.

      tired...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I swear to God, I don't even know what to say to something like that....entitled to live a lie!!!!!

      I don't get involved in those hate fests, but once in awhile I say "to hell with it" and jump into the fray...and it accomplishes nothing other than to raise my blood pressure.

      I dropped several friends from Facebook immediately after the elections because I simply could not allow their hate to infect my world any longer and yes, there is a civil war of sorts on the horizon, and I'm looking for high ground and a good perimeter defense. :)

      Thank you my dear; you are a joy to know.

      bill

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you, Bill, for your eloquently stated, unbiased truth. As the ugliness of 2012 campaign ramped up, so did my dismay. I became disillusioned by the rabid rhetoric aimed at destroying the opposition, rather than providing Americans with realistic resolutions to avert destruction. It is no wonder that Americans mistrust and fear government, with the election winding down, for many voters, as hope in the lesser of the two evils. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that, as voting citizens, we still have some hope in the matters of our lives.

      Your beautifully stated words, along side the powerful quotes by revered Americans, made me think of the fact that my beloved father, a WWII army medic, and all those men and women who have risked everything in battle, did so for freedom. Thank you for a powerful reminder that I am blessed to be a humble, eternally grateful, American citizen.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy my dear, considering what you have gone through the past couple of years, those are powerful words of gratitude. I was completely turned off by the recent election. I pray that wiser minds will eventually prevail, and that our leaders, and citizens, dial down the rhetoric and vitriol and learn to compromise for the good of the country.

      I am proud to be a citizen of this country, but changes need to be made, and calmer minds are needed for those changes.

      Thank you my dear; if you are ever in my neighborhood, give me a shout out so I can buy you lunch.

      bill

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I agree many do not know freedom means, they haven't had to fight for it. My dad shared from his life experience how he had to fight for this right. We cannot truly understand it, until we have it taken from us in some manner. Love your sharing of thought, "there are no short cuts to freedom". I am afraid that we may have to fight for some freedoms in the future, just saying....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, you may be just sayin' but you are also very close to the truth. I think we may have to fight for some things we have allowed to be taken from us....who will stand guard when the guard is stealing?

      Thank you as always and I send good vibes your way.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Very powerful and truthful Hub, billybuc. I give thanks every day that I live in America. I do not take my freedom for granted. It is so upsetting to read of foreign countries where the people are NOT free.

      I'm sure you are very proud of your Father and his contribution to freedom.

      I voted this Hub UP etc. and will share.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, i agree, it is very upsetting about other countries. I grew up learning about the cost of freedom, so I like to write about it from time to time. :)

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • stillwaters707 profile image

      stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

      Well said, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stillwaters, I always appreciate you stopping by. Thank you!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Martin Luther King, Jr's I have a dream speech has inspired a generation of people. The epitaph on his tomb 'free at last' always inspires me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, I don't think I have ever heard a more powerful speech than that one. Totally captivating and inspiring. Thank you my friend, and enjoy your weekend in Nepal.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Hey Bill - here's another ode to you from me...

      (ahem...)

      When the political poo poo hits the fan fan -

      You're always welcome here in Can Can...

      (i'm sorry..i was up at 5am...lol)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I"ll put that invite on my refrigerator door to always remind me. :) Thank you my friend! Try not to piss off too many people today. LOL

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      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      Bill, as always you create gentle strength while bringing forth issues that are vital to our survival as a species. And no, I don't think I'm overstating at all. You advocate a kindness that is accepted by all but practiced by very few. Freedom is conditional. There must be agreement that all voices can be heard, whether or not we agree with them, and that is missing in North America. We shout our opinions from the rooftops, yet ridicule our neighbours if they choose a different path to the same end. By nature, we gravitate to other 'birds of a feather' and lock out the rest. While freedom guarantees us that right, the practice erodes it.

      On this Remembrance Day in Canada, I see our PM in Hong Kong laying a wreath while our living veterans are forgotten. I see the voices of the people silenced while the fabric of our nation becomes almost unrecognizable. I see more and more human beings huddled on the street trying to stay warm while waiting for the shelter to open, though many will be turned away. I see love and compassion forgotten in the frenzy of politics. I see familiar faces contorted with hate and fear. Ridicule is everywhere. Money is the topic of the day.

      This is not what my father fought for... nor his father before him. He told me to always remember and if the need arose, to be courageous in the defence of freedom. I think we are there... and I'm feeling more sad than courageous. I'll be back to read this again to feel better :)

      Signed,

      Another Voice in the Wilderness

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, this comment of yours leaves me sad....and please don't feel bad about leaving it. For some reason, I had hoped that Canada was different than the U.S.....I held your country to higher standards politically....and now I find that it is the same. Sigh!

      I have a heavy heart; I see revolts in the streets in the coming years, and I see violence and more sadness, but what I don't see is a solution being offered by anyone in power. Therein lies the source of my sadness.

      So, we keep shouting from the wilderness, in hopes that more will listen. I don't know what else to do.

      Thank you kind lady; may you have a blessed Sunday.

      bill

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I see you feel strongly about this. People do not appreciate freedom until they have near death experiences or have been incarcerated or lose a limb. This expression was very nice of you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasta, thank you Sir! I can't imagine living somewhere where there was no freedom.

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Freedom...It is a lot to think about! I have always been able to talk freely, vote, receive equal paywhen I was FT, and could speek freely and complain about stuff without being beheaded. We are lucky indeed! I never saw the signs that you saw that said "Whites only". I have watched many broadcasts on that as well as MLK and the civil rights movement. We all have what we have today because all peoples fought for that before us! Excuse the ramble Bill...you got me thinking this morning. Great hub, proud to follow!!!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I don't know how I missed this hub Bill but I'm glad I made it here. As you pointed out most of us have never had to fight for our freedom....I learned to appreciate it more when we had the kids from Ireland here and we learned what their lives were like...we do not face; fear here of home invasion, not being able to speak freely, loved ones abducted in the night....so many things we read about but thank God don't live through! When visiting Ireland I remember making a comment about the sidewalk paintings and churches and I was told to mind what I say since I could get arrested for what it was I said out loud!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, you can ramble anytime you feel like it on my site. I'm always glad you have you here, and if I got you thinking then I've done my job as a writer. :) Thank you my friend; have a great Sunday!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that would be an eye-opener for sure....get arrested for saying something about a painting??? Wow, we have it pretty good here.

      Still, I have concerns about our freedoms; the Patriot Act is my biggest concern. I'm afraid we are still paying dearly for 9/11; now in more subtle ways.

      Thank you as always!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I will never understand the prejudices against people because of their sex, race or creed. We are all human beings blessed with the gift of life. We all eat, breathe, laugh and cry so why deny freedom? It just doesn't makes sense to me. We are not here to judge; that's God's job. He's nowhere near as hard on us as we are to each other!

      Great hub, my friend. Let freedom sing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, this is so ingrained in people, passed down from generation to generation....there is no logic. Those who are prejudiced on their own, most of the time it is fear born from ignorance....again, no logic.

      I'm tired of it, and I'm going to get more vocal, and to hell with the consequences. :)

      Thank you my dear.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sceam from the mountaintops and I will join you below sea level my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Sha, you are greatly appreciated! Keep your head above water please.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Always, Bill. I never fall too deep without digging my way back up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt about it, Sha!

    • StayPos profile image

      StayPos 4 years ago from Florida, USA

      billybuc,

      This was an excellent hub of which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! You covered a very deep and important topic with great skill and clarity.

      Thanks for sharing in a way that encourages us to remain hopeful and thankful that America will continue living up to its ideas of freedom. Voted Up and Awesome! All the Best

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      StayPos, thank you so much. This one was important to me, so I'm glad it was so well-received. Thank you for the visit.

    • Kenja profile image

      Ken Taub 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Diverse, generous, uplifting. Good job Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kenja, wow....thank you so much!

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