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Freedom Is...

Category: 2008 High School (Grades 9-12)
Student: Gia Montemuro
School: Cinnaminson High School Cinnaminson, New Jersey (Burlington County)
Teacher: Daniel Matz

Freedom is... choosing to drink Coke or Pepsi. I choose Coke.

Freedom is... choosing to read Monroe or Rowling. I choose both.

Freedom is... choosing to travel abroad or stay in one place. I choose to see the world.

Freedom is... choosing to remain ignorant or to enlighten oneself and to broaden one’s mind. I choose the latter.

Freedom is... all of these things and more. Freedom is the right to speak out against what one believes to be wrong, and, after speaking out, the ability for the government to allow such sentiments to be made public without incarceration. Take, for instance, the story of Paul Krugman, a liberal economist who has been very vocal in decrying Republican economic policies in a book titled The Conscience of a Liberal. In a less democratic nation, Krugman probably would have been arrested for treason, and no one would have ever seen him again. But in America, he has won the Nobel Prize.

Freedom represents the capacity to stand up and speak one’s mind without fear of persecution. Living in the United States all my life, I have grown up taking my own rights for granted. But now, as a senior in high school and with four years of history under my belt- as well as a healthy diet of international current events- I understand that my rights are a priceless gift and that they are worth much more than the average American child is led to believe. Americans never have to live in fear of a midnight knock on their front door because of something they mentioned at the water cooler. Americans can rejoice in the liberty and sheer power that their voices hold- even if their voices are used to choose something as trivial as a can of soda.

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Any views, opinions or commentary expressed by the authors of the winning essays in the American Freedom Essay Contest are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia, its affiliates, its officers, its directors, its employees, its Sponsors, and/or its agents in any manner whatsoever. The Constitutional Walking Tour does not make any guarantees, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained or quoted in the reprinted essays.
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