Guest Commentary: Fourth of July 1776 — The birth of our nation

Since childhood I have always had a caring and fond memory for the Fourth of July.

Norman Rockwell, a great American artist, portrayed the freedoms we all hold dear, enough even to fight and die for as Americans did in World War II.

The first freedom that Norman Rockwell portrayed was the freedom of speech which was inspired by his visit to a local town hall meeting. He noted the ease with which the participants handled controversy and the respect each gave to the other’s right to speak his opinion freely.

Each person voiced his ideas without fear of oppression. And while this seems to be a normal way of life to us, Norman Rockwell observed that protecting this freedom was a principal reason Americans were fighting in World War II.

Norman Rockwell went on to portray the four freedoms that America was fighting for: Freedom of speech, freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom of worship.

Freedom of speech and worship are protected under the United States Constitution “Bill of Rights” First Amendment, it reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It is my belief that while we have a right to freedom of speech, others also have their right to freedom of speech as well. And we each have the right to challenge what the other says as long as that challenge does physically interfere with freedom of speech.

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Comments » 1

karenglaub writes:

It is curious, but good to note that you have finally found your voice to uphold our freedom of speech. As I recall several years ago when our freedom of speech was being hindered by our city parks ordinance, my memory tells me you were silent then. I and many other islanders spoke out, and after a lengthy period,it was changed.
Words are important, but if you do not take action when action is required, then they amount to nothing.

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