We at times take our rights, and freedoms, for granted here in our great independent nation of America. Everyday I watch on T.V. as people from other countries are denied their basic freedoms, and are imprisoned or killed for their beliefs, both secular and religious. Recently an Iranian converted to Christianity and became a minister. He was promptly arrested and put on trial for his beliefs. He was sentenced to death, though as of this writing he had not been executed. Mainly due to foreign intervention. On the other hand here in America, I can be anything I so choose. O'k maybe the Christians don't like our religion, or the fact that we have Godi, but here in America we have laws that protect us against unlawful imprisonment for our beliefs. Perfect no ! But better than some countries around the world. Let us not forget that even in a republic like Iceland the old religion was outlawed until 1973.
Women are the ones who seem to suffer most in these other countries, where even what we consider to be basic rights for women are denied. For instance in Saudi Arabia, I believe, women have just now been given the right to drive cars. And in many of these countries the women are forced to cover themselves from head to foot, and if they do not they are often assaulted. Even minor cimes can flare into vigilante justice in these countries. I remember a few years ago in one of these countries where a woman had her ears and nose cut off for some minor offense. In Egypt, just weeks ago women were sexually assaulted by groups of men because they were protesting for their " basic rights ", and several foreign reporters have been sexually assaulted while trying to report this, and other stories. These assaults have all been made by men who refuse to accept a modern role for women in our ever changing world.
Protesting in America is a given right, as long as it is done peacefully, while in other countries around the world their governments meet their peacefully protesting citizens with physical violence, gunfire, tanks, and imprisonment. Just look to the Middle East recently to see examples of this. Of course the prime example was in Tiananmen square a few years back in China. I have been disturbed recently, however, by the over- reaction of some police forces around the country during some recent protests which have lead to some, in my opinion, unnecessary violence. Overall though, our country still accepts, and even encourages in many cases, an opposing view. One of the greatest sayings that I love goes something like this, " I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it ! " You gotta love America !
That is why it is so important to remember, and appreciate, not just on the 4th of July, but on every day of the year, those who fought for those basic freedoms that we so often take for granted. Remember the great sacrifices of those who suffered at Valley Forge, and at Morristown, during two of the worst winters on record. We MUST honor those who died during our great war for independence, and beyond. We MUST honor those who fought during the War of 1812, Civil War, Mexican - American War, Spanish - American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever else our brave men have fought for those freedoms that we so cherish.
To honor our great Day of Independence, I always go to a Revolutionary War battlefield to honor our fighting men, our nation, and our freedoms. I have been to most of them and this year I think I will go to the Monmouth Battlefield right here in New Jersey. Even with all of our recent problems, America is still one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth ! Let us raise our horns in honor of our brave ancestors who fought for the establishment of this our home of the brave, and land of the free !
All Hail freedom !
All Hail America !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !