Thursday, December 15, 2005

Freedom Crosses the Centuries

Fortunate in friends, I was offered by one a copy of the book 1776 by the careful writer, David McCullough. As I read his pages, gobbling up the history of the Continental Army in America, I came across a quote from The New England Chronicle signed by a person who called himself "A Freeman." He said about America's battle for freedom, "Never was a cause more important or glorious than that which you are engaged in; not only your wives, your children, your distant posterity, but humanity at large, the world of mankind, are interested in it; for if tyranny should prevail in this great country, we may expect liberty to expire throughout the world." I added the italics.

What foresight! The writer was prophesying , correctly as it turned out, that if America lost its battle against England, the potential for freedom in the world would suffer in the distant future. Somehow this writer was able to step outside his daily experience and see across the centuries.

It is early in the morning of December 15, 2005 as I write this. Headlines flashing across the Internet (from the AP) are saying, "Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas that had shunned balloting last January. . ."

Americans are responsible for the ability of Iraqis to vote. They are the distant posterity written about in 1776. While not necessarily blood-descendants of the Revolutionary soldiers as some of us are, today's freedom-loving Americans who cared enough to fight so that Iraq citizens might be free, are political descendants. They are the ones whose American heritage takes them to a distant country so that they might share their freedom.

Freedom is infectious. The American Heritage is important not only to Americans but to others around the world. People want to be free. Not only do most of us want to help them to be free, but it is in our self interest to make them so; democratic nations seldom war against each other.

It will be a glorious badge of honor to wear--the one that says "I helped Iraq to free itself from tyranny." Many of us see Iraqi freedom as the beginning of freedom throughout the Middle East. It is still true that "humanity at large, the world of mankind, are interested in it."

Thank you, David McCullough and thank you "A Freeman," for reminding us.

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