By Nichole Giles
As I contemplated what I’d write about this week—tossing topics around in my head between taxiing my kids and taking care of life—I kept coming back to the fact that our nation’s birthday is coming up. And as I thought about it, I realized something.
I’m able to try new things, step out of the bounds others might try to impose on my personal self, because I live in this wonderful free country. I haven’t done anything to necessarily earn this freedom, other than being born in the United States. I just am.
This week, my husband and I watched the movie, Defiance. It’s the true story of some Jewish people in Europe who, during World War II, ran away to live in the forest—thereby defying Hitler’s attempt to kill them. What started off as three brothers turned into a huge community of people over a thousand strong. (Great movie, by the way, and very well done.) They were free within the confines of their little community, and yet, were hunted until the end of the war.
And here I am, living in this place where I can dress however I choose, work at any job I set my mind to do, give birth to as many children as I want without government imposed limits, and try something new every single day. Well, you know, if I want. That is the glorious nature of America.
Just because I didn’t do anything to earn my freedom, there are many, many people—historically and currently—who have done it for me. Since the beginning of time, people have been fighting for the kinds of rights and freedoms that I enjoy today. I may not have fought the battles, but that doesn’t mean I should ever forget them, or what our country is because of the brave souls who did.
Today, I choose to thank the soldiers—those out serving, those just returning, and those waiting to be called up. I’m thankful to all the soldiers—from all the wars and conflicts and issues—who have given their lives, or at least large chunks of time, fighting for my freedom.
I am truly honored to live here.
In honor of the holiday, and because this is a blog about writing, here is an exercise:
Write about what freedom means to you, and what you can do to show gratitude toward those who have fought so diligently for it.
Happy Independence Day, America! We are the land of the free, because of the brave.