We’re about to start the weekend when Americans celebrate a freedom declared 238 years ago, when a small band of men risked their lives and fortunes to change history’s course.
Today, through fits and starts, elations and depressions, we get to celebrate that momentous gamble with a long holiday weekend. Say what you will about infringements here and encroachments there, real and perceived, but that grand experiment in freedom and liberty forged more than two centuries ago still exists today. Maybe it has seen better days. Maybe the days ahead will be better still.
In the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by The Heritage Foundation, the U.S. ranked 12th in the world, just ahead of Bahrain and nipping at the heels of Estonia. That’s right — the model doesn’t even crack today’s top 10.
Yet the U.S. remains the paragon of freedom. Millions of people each year still aspire to the American dream and flock to our shores and borders because of the promise of a better life here. So maybe we are doing something right after all.
Our freedom has not come easy, and it has been acquired at a dear cost through countless struggles, both home and abroad.
More than 16 million Americans served from 1941-45. More than 400,000 never returned home. There are now barely more than 1 million World War II veterans remaining. Eight of them were honored this past week by the city of Rincon, which made local living World War II vets the honorees of the annual Freedom Rings Parade.
It was a noteworthy and noble gesture on the city’s part to pay tribute to men who spent years away from home, some of who saw the awful horrors of combat far too closely, while we still can honor them.
As we take to the roads and waterways and watch fireworks split the night sky, keep in mind those who have answered the call to give us the liberty we so cherish today. Our freedom, that of our predecessors and the freedom we will bestow to future generations, is more than worthy of celebrating.