Freedom essay contest winner

What Freedom Means To Me

Emma Nelsen

Manson Northwest Webster, Third Place

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in our bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.” These words, spoken by Ronald Reagan, describe what Americans must do for freedom. Freedom means that I can stand up for just causes and speak out against the unjust. It means I have the freedom to worship and have whatever religion I please, and also have the right to have no religion at all. We, as Americans, decide our fate in this country, what we want, and how we want it; each person has a say and a vote. I have the right to agree and to disagree with whatever I choose. Freedom is a right that at times I take for granted.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, which granted this country freedom, states this; that every man is equal and born with rights that cannot be ignored or denied. To this day our country honors this commitment. Everyone has equal rights and is equally represented in our government; our veterans have fought time and time again to protect this right. In this country I can lead the life I want, not a life someone tells me I should have.

Some people today question the presence of freedom. Many laws are being put into place to limit people’s rights, such as gun control; abortion; tobacco usage; and alcohol and drug usage. However, when you really look at it, everyone has a say in the laws. It is not just one person proposing the laws and enforcing them. This country is run by the people; this is what freedom is. The right to have a say in my government and being able to make a change in my country.

These laws and conditions would not be put into place if everyone disagreed. We are responsible for our freedom, and we must protect it; this is what freedom means to me.