Today as a number of my horse blogger friends have done posts on Memorial Day I find myself thinking about what freedom means to me. I have always felt strongly about how important freedom is. And I guess you could say that I've always been a bit sentimental about being an American but I've never really thought about why that is until now.
I wasn't brought up in a particularly patriotic family. I was always aware that my feelings were quite different from those around me. Yet I hung onto to those feelings very tightly. I didn't express them to those around me, but I felt them fiercely.
As early as I can remember learning about freedom, I have clung to the belief in it's importance for the people of the world. I grasped onto the concept like it was a lifeline even though I didn't understand why I was that moved by it.
Now, looking back I think that my concept of freedom has been largely affected by my victimization. Being brought up in an environment where freedom didn't exist, I think it was a dream I held. That along with me always rooting for the underdog are clearly based in the hope that just maybe someday there might be a smidgen of hope for me.
Who can better understand what freedom means than those who have been denied it? I have no doubts now that my sentimentality about freedom is directly related to all those years that I had none. Not just the years I was victimized but all those years afterwards when I was oppressed by the restraints of victimization.
Today, I am finally free and I value freedom in all its forms. Not just my personal freedom is important to me. Because I understand what one human being is capable of doing to another, I know that freedom is tenuous if it is not protected. I know that freedom is worth the lives it takes sometimes to ensure it.
This isn't about politics for me, it is about self preservation. As long as there is good and evil in the world, the world will never be perfect. Solutions to the inhumanities of man will not be black and white. They will be downright ugly sometimes but such is the price of freedom. Memorial Day will always be a reminder for me of both the freedom I have gained and the price others have paid for it.