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Freedom is a blessing

July 04, 2009|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

Thomas Jefferson, as he observed the infancy of this great nation, once remarked, "My God, How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people enjoy!"

America celebrated another birthday on July 4th.

If Jefferson, Adams and Franklin were alive today, they might be a little surprised by the direction our country has taken over the years.

They, nonetheless, would remind us that July 4, 1776, was a very important date, and the freedoms that were obtained through struggle, blood and sacrifice for the young nation should never be forgotten.

The world, in envy, has watched us grow. Our freedoms are unsurpassed. We truly have been blessed in comparison to the nations of the world.

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Jefferson was concerned that we Americans have a short memory in regard to how we truly have been blessed since the birth of our country.

As each generation arrives and departs, some of our rich history in regard to our freedoms is increasingly minimized or ignored. We take many of our freedoms, quite simply, for granted.

In surveying the landscape of the world, there are many others who seek these same freedoms.

We see a people in Iran hungry for what we have and suppressed by a dictator unable to hear the bell of freedom.

The newly elected president of Iran would have you believe there was no Holocaust, and that he received 63 percent of the popular vote to be re-elected. Right, and the green monkey is purple.

China regulates the number of children born to parents and also tells you how many dogs you can have.

Russian journalists are killed for reporting the news and those murders are never resolved because of those fears of freedom calling.

A dictator in Korea happily proclaims his re-election and would have us believe that 99 percent of the electorate voted for him.

In South American, Hugo Chavez is quick to tell you how great he is and he thanks his people for voting him in office for an eternity, at least here on Earth.

The list of countries around the world that attempt to slam the door on individual freedoms is too numerous to mention in one article.

As a country, we have our share of problems, too. Who doesn't?

But to ignore the freedoms we have is tantamount to crawling under a rock and living happily ever after.

John Adams once suggested we pause and recognize our freedoms each and every year. He suggested the Fourth of July "ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other ..."

Nothing wrong with a hot grill of goodies and a cold beverage in the cooler, either.

I'm with Adams. Each of us should pause on our country's birthday not only to celebrate, but to recognize the freedoms provided to us by those patriots of yesterday.

If you heard a little noise coming from the woods of Dargan on July 4, that might have been me celebrating the birth of our great nation and reminding Mr. Jefferson that I am one American who does recognize those "precious blessings" of freedom.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident

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