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A Veteran's Day Essay by Rachel Axelrod (Link to her award)
Freedom isnt free. What does it mean? It means that people go to war for freedom. Sometimes
they even die for freedom. Sometimes it divides a country. Sometimes it can destroy peoples lives
forever. The cost of freedom can be priceless.
In the Civil War, many people were killed. They were fighting for freedom, because the black
people were being treated unfairly. In the 1950's, black people were still being treated unfairly.
When they wanted to ride the bus and all the seats were full, they had to give up their seat to a
white person. Then that all changed, because of a lady named Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks refused to give a white person her seat on a bus, in Montgomery, Alabama. This took
place in 1955, and started the civil rights movement. She was arrested for violating the law that
said that whites and blacks had to sit on different rows of the bus. The front rows were for the whites
and the back rows were for the blacks. The blacks started a boycott prior to her arrest. The boycott
was lead by Martin Luther King, Jr. He also wanted to end bus segregation. She is also known as
the mother of the civil rights movement. Together the blacks made a difference in our history.
Their freedom cost Martin Luther King his life as well.
There were many others that fought for freedom. They were the heroes and veterans of World
Wars 1 & 2, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Korea, and many, many more even not involving our country.
Men and women were called to serve their countries only to die or remained scared for the rest of
their lives. Freedom is precious to us because not everyone has the right to be free.
The United States of America was not always a free nation. The leaders of our country from many
years past fought for the many rights of freedoms. These freedoms were a part of the Declaration
of Independence which has bound us as a nation for many years and years to come. These founding
fathers of freedom had to overcome many hardships for their people. These freedoms are still being
used improperly still today. Battles in courtrooms, schools and neighborhoods are hurting people.
It's hard to realize that even today countries around the world continue to fight for any basic freedoms.
Our country tries to be the peacekeeper but it sometimes doesn't work that great. Innocent lives are
being taken everyday because some people just want to be powerful. If only freedom could be less
costly and everyone could have this right.
Updated July 25, 2002
Your Freedom Is Not Free Essay
Freedom is more than a concept, it is an ideal with varied and complex subjective interpretations. Ideas concerning the liberty of body and soul are heavily connected to the formation of individual and cultural identity in American literary history. Certain nineteenth century American writers stand out for their real-life dedication to freedom and non-conformity for seeking to free themselves from whatever shackles limited them from reaching their potentials, both literally and figuratively. Henry David Thoreau, Fredrick Douglass, and Ralph Waldo Emerson are exemplary writers of the nineteenth century who strove to articulate not only the ideas of freedom and justice, but also the means by which these ideals, which they themselves acted upon, might be realized. Thoreau's "Walden" and "Resistance to Civil Government," Douglass's "Narrative," and Emerson's "The American Scholar" are reflective, observational and hopeful works which inspire their audiences to interpret and incorporate the ideas found within to their own philosophies concerning personal and national identity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the oldest of the three was often referred to as "the sage of Concord." A talented poet and essayist, he put into words the need for intellectual severance from Europe. Ever the ardent non-conformist, he believed that American intellectual culture too closely relied on and echoed those of other lands, writing that, in the worst case, the American scholar was "the parrot of other men's thinking" (Emerson). He expertly and eloquently mapped out a clear, if verbose, mold into which the new, elite and singularly American intellect should fill. His essays put forth a hope which he does not believe would come to fruition in his lifetime. Emerson, more so but not excluding Thoreau and Douglass wrote vigorously ambitious, high reaching
The works of Emerson and Thoreau are typically studied together, a fact owing at least in part to their association with the circle of writers known as the transcendentalists and their status as the two best-known members thereof. However, it can be argued that the work of Thoreau and Douglass might be more in synch and offer a better pairing for comparative reading or analysis than does the more well-worn tandem of Emerson and Thoreau. In contrast to Emerson, the writings of Thoreau and Douglass are both significantly more didactic. Their writing is pithy, entertaining, and educational, where Emerson is more prescriptive. In an article which compares Thoreau and Douglass's respective arguments in support of the use of violence for justified protest, Jason Matzke points out that, though the writing of each makes the barest of reference to the other, their lives shared many commonalities, including:
They were roughly the same age, with Thoreau born in 1817 and Douglass born probably in 1818. They had a number of mutual friends and acquaintances, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Philips, Horace Greeley, Theodore...
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