Freedom shouldn’t be taken for granted

By Joan Clayton: Columnist

Tuesday, November 7 is Election Day. Our freedoms have been bought with “blood, sweat and tears” from many who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

It has been said, “bad officials are elected by good people who don’t vote.” Edmund Burke, a British statesman has stated, “For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.”

Your vote is important. Because of those brave men and women, the red, white and blue still waves over the land of the free. The sacrifice of others has enabled us to lift high the banner of freedom. Please never take that freedom for granted and one way of demonstrating your appreciation is by casting your vote.

William Penn stated in 1681, “If you are not governed by God, you will be ruled by tyrants.” This statement makes voting more important than ever.

Enjoying freedom requires responsibility. Responsible citizens vote. To take advantage of the many opportunities of this great country and not vote is to shirk the duty of the American citizenry.

Maybe you are thinking, “My vote will not make any difference.” Wrong!

Many elections have been won by one vote. In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed. In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.

In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
t is a fact that in some parts of the world, people now have more freedom to express themselves religiously than do Americans. The reason the first settlers came to this continent was to follow the dictates of their own conscience, to worship freely, to have free expression to vote and to have, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Understand the importance of your one vote. Your vote does count and who knows but what your one vote decides the winner. Your vote has an effect on the country’s future destiny. Your vote could make a big difference in our country’s freedom. The more people stay away from the polls, the more these freedoms will be taken away.

I believe the real heroes are those who stand for honesty and integrity. They fulfill responsibilities to be courageous citizens. They are great Americans who go to work every day, who live by right choices and believe in honesty, truth and honor. You will see these people helping people. You will see them volunteering in community service and you will see them at the polls.

You are the backbone of this nation. You keep this country together. Please don’t ever give up. May we all keep striving to leave a country to our children and grandchildren that are worth the lives of so many who have died to protect it.

Hebrews 12:12 in The Living Bible admonishes us to not lose heart:

“So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong.”

So let’s keep on. When you vote you are allowing your voice to be heard. Your vote makes a difference for America. Our founding fathers’ descendants are still carrying the torch of freedom. Red-blooded Americans still believe in freedom. Let us proclaim Leviticus 25:10,

“Proclaim liberty through all the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

Dedicated Americans who gave birth to America still have patriots who continue to uphold America. To have a voice we can exercise our choice by voting. Voting is a privilege. Living in America is a privilege and I will vote.

I’ll see you at the polls!