Freedom essay contest winner

What Freedom Means To Me

Miranda Jud

Manson Northwest Webster

Fourth Place

When I think of the word “freedom,” I think of the raising of the flag on the first day of school with everyone outside and their hands on their hearts. Trumpets play and some of the town’s veterans raise the flag high in the sky. At that moment I start thinking of everything I take for granted: ranting to my friends and family about something I don’t like; standing up for myself and what I believe in; expressing myself through my music, writing, drawing and everything else I have. Than I realize I take all of these simple things for granted. I don’t think about how I should be grateful for how I talk. I don’t think about how I should be grateful for my pencils and paper, my iPod or computer. I just get them, thank whoever gave me them, and carry on. In that moment when that flag waves high in the morning sky and kids start to complain about who the morning air is too cold for them, I realize just how ungrateful we can be and that freedom isn’t so free.

Now I won’t say I don’t take things for granted. I’m no saint. I’ve thrown fits over not being able to go see a movie at midnight before. In that moment when I realize I should be so grateful for every little thing I have, I understand none of that matters. I feel gratitude towards anyone that has ever given their life so that I can have the privilege of using the simple piece of paper and pencil I use every day and don’t even think twice about to write down my thoughts and feelings, or to use to get the education that some people dream of having. I thank everyone that made it possible for everyone to rant about how they don’t agree with a new law or the new president. In those moments when I stop and actually think, an immense feeling of gratitude overwhelms me, and I don’t even know who exactly to direct it towards. So many people are responsible for giving me these privileges, and I don’t even know who to be thanking. Then I realize they don’t even know me. They just gave their lives for people they don’t even know. After thinking about this, I admire them. I admire their bravery, their courage and how honorable they are. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. Life would be totally different for the people of the United States of America, and we don’t even know who exactly to thank.

Then the trumpets stop playing, everyone starts talking and the crowd moves back inside.I get caught up in my life again and I forget everything i just thought of and felt. Then on another day, I remember, and I silently thank all of those people to whom I owe my life and freedom.