Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On this day...

On this day, we must honor those who have died for our country. On this day, we must honor those who fought and lived, often with lifelong ailments of both mind and body. And how best to honor them? Do the parades and flag-waving actually mean anything anymore? What are we waving the flag for? Who are we saluting? For what are we fighting?

The answer for Americans has been and can only ever be one thing...FREEDOM.

But are we still fighting for it? Or is it something we passively accept? Do we still feel the weighty responsibility of the blood that has been spilled to defend the right to rule one's own life? Or have we surrendered it for the sake of the silken promise of serenity? How can we claim to be fighting for freedom when our government continues to allow torture? How can we claim to be fighting for freedom when our government takes control of businesses? How can we claim to be fighting for freedom when we rush to surrender our property and our choice to selected officials? Have we truly forgotten the horrors of the Berlin Wall, the Killing Fields, the Third Reich, the purges and concentration camps, the barbed wire and minefields, the executions and assassinations (public and private)?

Have the young people of today never learned of the horrors that chained whole continents to a destiny of fear and oppression? Have they never learned that these chains were all forged from promises made of an easier life, promises of the right to dispose of the blessings granted others as your own, promises that the blood of today will be the prosperity of the future? But that prosperity never came...only the blood. And true prosperity vanished as a whisper on the wind chasing the fleeting phantasms of its butchered progenitors.

Have you ever wondered why it is that every single country which has tried to earnestly enact the idea of wealth redistribution has had to keep its citizens within its borders at the point of a gun? Have you ever wondered what freedoms you would have left in the world you desire?

If you still remember these things, or if you see the error of fighting for freedom and then turning it over to a populist mob, then perhaps you can honor those who died fighting for the American dream. The American dream? Isn't that supposed to be a house, a white picket fence, 2.3 kids, 1.4 cars and a dog? No. The American dream is anything you want it to be. Therein lies its power. Therein lies its majesty and mystery. If the things you would fight for are nothing more than material objects than you are a fool, destined to find yourself in a gutter lying next to all the other petty criminals and thieves.

But if you would fight for freedom, for the true legacy of the right to decide for yourself, of the right not to support the fallacies and contradictions of your neighbors if you so choose, of the right to make up your own mind and the freedom to act on that choice-if you would fight for these things, then you are truly honoring the brave men and women who lost everything that they had just for the chance, for the shimmering sliver of a dream that freedom could be a reality.

So please, rather than making empty token gestures of patriotism today, go out and protest. Howl, scream, demand, argue, rant and petition for your freedom. Talk about it with your friends, lovers, spouses, co-workers, everybody you can. Post, comment, blog, YouTube it, Facebook it, Twitter it. Today is a day for honoring freedom. Even if it is just at arm's length, go and honor freedom today and the people who died for it.

I leave you with one of the great historical speeches that many of you may have never even heard of before.

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