Freedom: What's Your Definition?
FREEDOM…a great feel good word. However, freedom is a double-edged sword. Freedom is not just what I think freedom means. I have to be respectful of others’ definitions of freedom. We all have our own definition of the word, and we measure everyone else by that yard stick in our head. With freedom we also have responsibility.
In June we celebrated the end of World War II, when young men graduated from high school and immediately joined the service and headed to war.
The Korean War called up many men who had already served in World War II. Then Vietnam, a divided nation with people actually spitting on veterans. There are those willing to die to defend our Country and those who want to talk about freedom, but aren’t willing to fight or to sacrifice for freedom.
When I think of Freedom, I think of and salute the United States Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy. Every day on the seven seas, in space, and on many continents they are working to keep America Free and moving us forward in technology. I’m not sure Americans know or appreciate what these Service Academies do for America.
In 1977, all the Academies allowed women to enter, and also increased minority candidates. The sky did not fall and their assimilation is to be applauded. As the Academies brought in different candidates, they made sure each person was academically and physically up to speed to join their classmates as equals when they entered in the fall.
This advancement was a direct result of policies that were enacted due to the riots in the late 1960's.
When President Trump addressed the West Point graduates at the US Military Academy a few weeks ago we saw Freedom and Democracy in action. The Superintendent was a Black General, and the student who presented the class gift was a Black woman. They were not selected as a photo opp. Academies don’t operate like that - they had earned their rank and position!!! The media never told America what they were seeing because I’m not sure the media understands what the Academies really represent - it is freedom in action made possible be changing policies. Let’s applaud our success, and then work to make freedom a reality for all.
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." - Viktor E. Frankl