An ongoing process

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another Election Day has come and gone, and although some local residents may not be pleased with the outcome, all had the opportunity to voice an opinion.

America is a democracy founded on the same “inalienable rights” so eloquently described by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence — “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These “rights” do come with a price, and diligence is needed to maintain them. Unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to our freedoms that we often take them for granted.

Email newsletter signup

The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution does its best to remind us every year with Constitution Week. Approved by Congress and signed by President Eisenhower in 1956, this celebration of democracy is aimed at “informing the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and emphasizes citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending it.”

Over the course of history, many Americans have stepped up, accepting responsibility for maintaining our freedom.

Following World War II, D-Day survivor Rev. Ralph Haga returned to his farm in Prospect and wrote these words: “What is freedom? Freedom is a man smoking his pipe on his porch; it is the warm laughter of a girl sitting on a park bench. Freedom is the rush of a train across the continent and the unafraid faces of people looking out the windows. Freedom is singing ‘America the Beautiful.’ It is what you feel and can’t help feeling. Freedom — it is you!”

The success of any democracy is an ongoing process.

All of us can take part in that process by standing in line on Election Day, rising in respect for “The Star Spangled Banner” or simply thanking a veteran for his or her service.

We agree wholeheartedly with the words Rev. Haga wrote more than half a century ago. The future of American depends on us.