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Basic Freedom, Big Impact

Category: 2008 Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Student: Duncan Reehl
School: Holland Township Milford, New Jersey (Hunterdon County)
Teacher: Sandra Ozgar

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” (– George Washington) Freedom of Speech is one of the basic freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment to the United States constitution. Freedom of speech allows you to speak your mind and it allows the human race as a whole to advance and prosper. I feel that this freedom is particularly important just because of that – it is essential for our race.

Imagine living in a world where you are afraid to question things that you don’t believe in because you would be prosecuted for it. Without freedom of speech, we wouldn’t have made the great advancements that we have in the fields of science because people are afraid to go against the teachings of churches. We would have no philosophers because people would be prosecuted for asking the questions philosophers seek to answer. These questions can be viewed as the impetus of society’s advancement.

Many improvements to our government wouldn’t have been made because people couldn’t voice their opinions on what they think is wrong with it in the first place. People who did voice their opinions and challenge other people’s opinions throughout history have had a major impact on your life today. “Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.” (- Samuel Johnson) Everyone’s opinion matters. Everything can be built and improved upon.

Speech, the first basic freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, is a fundamental aspect in our every day lives and the advancement of our race culturally and mentally. The ability to ask questions is a natural instinct in people. It is an instinct we need in our day to day lives. You need to be able to ask questions and voice your opinion and challenge other people’s opinions, because this freedom is what moves America forward.

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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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