Our Liberty and Ourselves

OUR LIBERTY AND OURSELVES

HUMAN LIBERTY is not a gift of God but a social achievement. Pitifully few people ever enjoyed the freedoms we know. And far fewer enjoy freedom now than ten years ago. In fact, we cannot be certain there will be any human liberty in the world at all in the next few years. Over a dozen constitutions of a quality similar to ours have been tossed on the bonfire lit by recent tyranny. What comfortable guarantee have we that our own constitution will survive another 150 years, or even the next 10 years.

Freedom has come only to those people who hated tyranny enough to shatter it at whatever cost. Their children will retain that freedom only if they act in a united way to repel at whatever cost any force which would attack it. We cannot call Washington and his heroes back to defend in our day the freedom they established while we applaud from the sidelines.

There must be a heroic quality in us as there was in them.

But some Americans are already complaining about the disappearance of luxury items from the market. We hear voices protesting the silk stocking shortage. Let them recall the bleeding feet at Valley Forge. Others object to gasoline rationing, no white-wall tires next year, fewer new cars. If we preserve our liberties with the sacrifices as trivial as these, we will be unbelievably lucky.

Mason City Glob Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Aug 22, 1941

George Washington at Valley Forge

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