Let Freedom Ring!

Happy Fourth of July!
I have found sometimes it is people who were not born here, who teach me the most about our country. How precious are those three wonderful words LIFE,LIBERTY and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
A few years ago we were lucky enough to attend the ceremony where a friend of ours became a U.S. Citizen. He was a refuge from Rwanda who had been a major executive there and spent time in a camp before finally coming to the U.S. and to Arizona. The ceremony was full of people of all ages and from several countries and each told the story of their journey to citizenship. Many of them were thrilled to finally be able to participate in our system and to vote for the first time.
A while back we had a chance to travel to Eastern Europe , we went to Poland, Bratislava, and Prague. In Each place we had a chance to either stay with or spend time with people who had lived through, Hitler, Communism and now Democracy. They told us stories of hiding neighbors from the Nazi’s knowing if they were found they would be shot. Of neighbors who had met that horrible fate. Of the thinks they had to endure during communism just to survive. Of the major party member who know worked as a security guard in the university where this friend teaches. In Bratislava we came across statue helped them to never forget some of the things that happened under communism. It was a statue of a man peeking out of a manhole. He looked like any worker checking on the electrical or gas lines. What he really was checking on was his neighbors, looking to see if there was anything suspicious he could report back to party leaders.
So on this day when we celebrate our freedoms with family, friends, and fireworks. I’ll also celebrate these people who help me realize something. It may not be the best, it certainly isn’t perfect but I’m still damn lucky to live here.


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