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What Others Don’t Have: Freedom of Speech

Category: 2013 High School (Grades 9-12)
Student: Carmen Collins
School: Greenwich High School Greenwich, CT (Fairfield County)
Teacher: Aaron Hull

Immigrants have come to America because of the liberties it offers. Like those immigrants, my parents came to America because they knew that they would lead better lives. My mother lived under the dictatorship of Franco in Spain as a child. As a socialistic society, the government controlled everything. She recalled that when she went to the movies, they would black out certain words and ideas that were considered “wrong”. As a child, she had a very innocent view of the world, she did not know the significance that the blacked out words had. Later, as she grew older, she realized what it meant. These blacked out words meant the loss of freedom of expression and that certain ideas were forbidden. When she was an adult and moved to the United States, she realized how lucky its citizens were to have the right of freedom of speech. My father was born in Germany but was an United States citizen because his father was an American. When my father was growing up in Germany, he would listen to the radio, especially the station Radio Free Europe. My grandfather was the director of  policy of this radio station beginning in 1949 in Munich, Germany. Radio Free Europe broadcasted to all people being oppressed in communist societies. My father grew up listening to this radio station and realized how lucky he was to be an American to have these inherent rights. When he moved to the United States, every day he was reminded of how freedom of speech  made American citizens quality of life better by having this right.

As a child of parents who have world experiences, they remind me every day of how lucky to have the guaranteed freedom of speech because of simply being an American citizen.


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