There are all types of freedom. It starts as simple as when you are a young child and granted the freedom to stay up later in the summertime when school is out. As the year’s progress and you get older you gain more and more independence, especially when you turn sixteen and get your drivers license. Now that’s really freedom. Then there comes the freedom to make choices. What will be my major in college? How will I make a living? Will I live in the old hometown or move away? Who will I marry? How many children will I have?
I suppose we take for granted the many freedoms we have here in the United States of America. We have the political liberty to vote in, or, out of office whoever the majority picks. We can worship the all and powerful God, whoever you may think He is. I myself choose to believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. However, the freedom to choose is yours.
But is freedom really free? No, someone has to pay the price. A young man or woman must leave the comfort of their homes and families and travel to remote regions of this world to protect us from our adversaries. Our military should be honored in the highest way possible. When they sign their name on those enlistment documents they are giving of themselves, so that we, the people of the United States of America may continue to have the freedom to do whatever we want to do.
In 1787 George Washington was the commander of the U.S. forces and led the War for our Independence against Great Britain. In 1869 as the population of the United States grew, in and around cities, settlers felt stifled, so they started moving West to find land of their own to farm, therefore gaining their own personal independence.
What about us ladies? On July 19th, 1848 the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Women had begun to demand equality and suffrage. On May 10, 1872 Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president of the United States, but it wasn’t until July 10, 1890 that Wyoming became the first state to grant women full suffrage rights. And, not until August 19, 1920 did the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution grant women the right to vote. We surely have come a long way baby!
On August 20, 1619, twenty African’s were brought to America on a Dutch ship to Jamestown and sold as indentured servants. This marked the beginning of slavery in Colonial America. Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland. After his escape in 1836 Douglass became a leader in the abolitionist movement. Not until December 6, 1865 was the 13th Amendment, that abolished slavery in the United States wrote into law.
So this blog is in honor of all who have served as leaders in this great nation. I thank those who serve in the military from the bottom of my heart for all you have sacrificed and still forfeit daily so that I might come and go as I please and not live in fear of attack each day.
I want to close with this poem that reflects images of my latest novel, The Color of My Heart. Hope you all have a blessed 4th of July. And, always remember, Freedom isn’t free! Someone has to pay the price.
The Color of My Heart
Sarah Martin Byrd
Pitching and swaying, the ship rolls over the hump-backed crests
Inside I, too, churn just as the sea
The force piles us high, one on top of the other
Woman, child...man and boy
Dirty, starved, abused, and shackled
Can’t anyone see the color of my heart?
Herded, chains binding, they check our bodies
Not seeing our souls
Fingers prying, muscles tested, hands on flesh
Who will have us?
Where will we go?
Loud voices drown out our cries...sold...sold...sold
Can’t anyone see the color of my heart?
Dragged away, where’s my mama, my daddy, my brothers?
Someone help, take me back, I want to go home
New place, obey the rules, yes ma’am, no ma’am,
Always yes sir!
Please don’t touch me like that...I’ve never before
Can’t you see the color of my heart?
Years come, years go, babies are born, babies die
One has coal-colored skin
The other, skin olive with blue eyes
Some love, most hate, all ache
I yearn for the world to see
The color of my heart
Rejected, rebuked, shut out, shut in
Proud, confused, controlled, judged
Freedom does not always mean you’re free!
One Maker...one man...one woman...
One creation...one color heart
What do you see?