Wednesday, November 14, 2018

One of the Greatest Freedoms

The original star spangled banner - on display at the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American
History in Washington, D.C.
Recently, many of us exercised one of the greatest freedoms known to mankind - the freedom to cast a vote. We also honored Veteran's Day, where we celebrate the countless men and women who have served our country to ensure this basic freedom, knowing the great importance of maintaining a democracy.

With the tip of a pen, we possess the ability to rise to power men and women who will make decisions that not only affect us, but future generations to come. We shouldn't, for one moment, take that responsibility lightly.

When we cast our educated vote, our end goal should not be the hope of who fills the Oval Office, or a seat in the House or Senate. We should vote with the knowledge that it is but one step toward making America the kind of home we want a generation not yet created to inherit.

With the election so recently held, I think of our Founding Fathers and the nation they envisioned for us. Many of them didn't simply cast a ballot, they cast their lives for a dream - a dream of one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

"Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation ... it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
James Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States, 1877

"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature."
Benjamin Franklin

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Abraham Lincoln

"We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, some say, is the king of America? I'll tell you, friend, He reigns above."
Thomas Paine

"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."
William Penn

"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
Daniel Webster

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
Patrick Henry

What about you? Did you exercise your freedom to vote? Who did you honor on Veteran's Day?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.

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  1. Thanks for this post! I love the quotes you selected.

  2. Yes, I voted. I always do. I honored my father, who was in the Navy in WWII and one of my sons, who has been in the National Guard for over 17 years, as well as the other men and women who fought for our freedoms.