bq. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The photo in the banner you see here today is of a building that stands next to the spot where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. I use this photo today not only because it shows Lady Liberty, standing tall and proud. I use it because the place where it stands represents a time in my life when I stopped taking my country and its freedoms for granted.
When I was very young, I understood very well what the Fourth of July meant. My mother would often read to us from the constitution on that day. In later years, she would force us to watch 1776
, a surprisingly moving and entertaining musical about Independence Day. The advent of the VCR meant she could play the movie at whim. Which meant that all day long, every July fourth, we would grudgingly sing along with mom:
The croakers all say we'll rue the day
There'll be hell to pay in fiery purgatory
Through all the gloom, through all the gloom
I see the rays of ravishing light and glory!
I felt pride in my country then. At some point, I'm not sure when, that pride waned.
In later years the Fourth was more about having parties - it was my grandfather's birthday and each subsequent year brought a bigger, better and louder family gathering. We watched baseball instead of 1776
. We craned our necks in the evening gasping over beautiful fireworks, never giving thought to what those fireworks were supposed to be a celebration of.
Now that I've renewed my relationship with my country, I no longer take for granted the freedom I enjoy as an American. I am thankful every day that I live in a place that affords me the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as well as the right to complain loudly if I should feel those rights are being taken away. I don't feel that way at all, but the idea that I could go down to Washington, D.C., stand in front of the White House and berate my president if I felt like and not be put to death for it is something that I cherish.
Those of you reading this who are Americans, take stock of what you have. Your day is filled with choices. Your life
is filled with choices. You can be or not be whatever you want. You can practice any religion you desire, or no religion at all. You can come and go freely. You choose your own destiny.
It's not the same around the world. There are countries where the people have to fight every day to try to gain just a tiny fraction of the freedoms that we so often take for granted.
Our forefathers stood up to tyranny and look how we have reaped the benefits of that. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone else who wants to stand up to tyranny.
In Iran, they are doing just that. And while today is America's Independence Day, a day to celebrate liberty, in order to ensure that our liberties always exist, that our flag will always still be there, we must stand side by side with those in other countries who are fighting for their own liberties.
We have 228 years of freedom behind us. There are countries, like Iran, with zero years of freedom. While we live free, they are oppressed. Yet, like our founding fathers before us, the freedom fighters of Iran are rising up against tyranny. They are risking their lives to speak out and fight for their basic rights.
What good is our freedom if it is only ours? Regimes that oppress their own people would also oppress us, given the chance. To fight for the people of those countries is to fight for your own country as well. We are all humans and deserve the basic dignities that come with liberty. There is no dignity in a country run by cruel mullahs. Life is not sacred to them. Neither is freedom. But it is to us, and we have the freedom to support those who are fighting for those things.
I want to share my Independence Day with the people of Iran. I want to take this day, a day in which I celebrate my freedom, to stand side by side with those who have the guts to take on the tyrants
bq. We cannot sit around and wait for the bureaucracies of the world to bring freedom to WE THE PEOPLE, so we must join forces and unite with all who believe in freedom. When freedom is in danger, it matters little what political leanings or perspectives we hold. We are all human beings and so together we must show our strength through unity and defeat the Islamofascist Terrorists and the regimes who sponsor them as they work hard to divide us.
(who is the force behind this post) says:
bq. This is not a Democrat/Republican/left/right issue, but about basic human rights. All of us should want to help end a totalitarian regime. And let me emphasize one thing--these young people are not asking for US military assistance. They see that as counter-productive. What they want is the firm diplomatic and economic isolation of the Mullahs by the United States and other countries. They will do the rest. Let's give them a hand!
July 9th (18 Tir) marks a symbolic movement against the evil regime in Iran. It is the rememberence of this day
bq. The Students Uprising of July 9th, 1999 was the first popular movement, which showed beyond doubt that killings of Foruhars and writers, not only did not stop the ones who want real change in Iran, but it has made them more determined, when seeing the reformist regime did not even work hard to protect its own friends, let alone guaranteeing the protection of real opposition, as one would expect of a real reformist regime.
The Students were vocal about their demands for change in Iran, and the regime was also very clear in its attack on them. The vigilantes attacked, killed, and wounded the students ,and many of the student leaders were arrested, but Khatami threatened the students to discontinue or get the stick, and some of the student leaders are still in Islamic Republic’s dungeons, have been forced to TV pseudo-confessions, and the like. But even the TV confessions have backfired on the regime, making its image more like that of Savak confessions of this regime’s predecessor, Shah’s regime, which Iranian people still remember.
I posted many links
about 18 Tir last year, when the blogosphere came together in a big way to support the Iranian students. We need to do that again this year. There are many Iranian blogs now - they will know we are here, standing beside them.
Celebrate your own independence by vowing to help those who are seeking the same. Sign this petition
to show your support. If possible, attend some of the U.S. rallies listed on that page. Read this site
daily to keep with what is happening in Iran.
This will be an important week for those in Iran who are battiling for liberty. As we celebrate our own liberties and freedom today, we should take some time to remember those who do not have the things which we so often take for granted.
The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
- Thomas Jefferson
Our freedom is inextricably tied with the freedom of others. We must help all those who want to face the tyrants as our founding fathers did. In order to truly be secure in our freedom, we must make sure that others are also free. And we must, as a tribute to our forefathers who fought and died so we can live like this, help those who struggle to have what we have. If that means just showing support to anyone in any country that is willing to fight for basic human rights, we must do that.
I know you are probably wondering why I've chosen to take this American holiday and spend the time talking about Iran, but I see the two as sum parts of whole. Of course, I will do the usual celebrating today, with the requisite barbecue, fireworks, beer and baseball. But I will not take my freedom for granted and I will not forget that there are others who strive to have a day like this each year, a day to raise their glasses to liberty.
Happy Independence Day, Americans. Here is to the hope that someday we will celebrate as one with the rest of the world to mark a time of freedom and justice for all.