The topic for this essay contest was, “How Can Americans Maintain the
Spirit of Freedom Enshrined in The Declaration of Independence?”
by Hanna Fox
Wider Horizons School
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence so as to ensure and preserve the American people’s right to freedom. Great sacrifices were made in order to be able to declare independence. Thousands of people sacrificed their lives to create a new nation that would allow future generations to live freely. Still, today, as this country grows and changes, there are many ways that you as an American citizen can work to maintain the spirit of freedom outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
One way Americans can strive to preserve their freedom is by doing little things. For example, you can write to your representatives if you want something added, changed, or improved. You can sing patriotic songs and wear patriotic clothes to show some spirit. You can thank or support veterans when you see them because they fought to protect your right to freedom. You can stay informed about what is happening around you. Also, you can go out and vote for the person you think best represents your point of view.
Another way you can maintain the spirit of freedom is by exercising your right to freedom of speech. If there is someone who has an opposing view to your own, do not automatically shut them down. Listen to them and try to figure out where they are coming from. They may have a good insight on the subject because they have different experiences that may make them think differently than you. Even if they are wrong, it is better to listen and debate than to immediately dismiss them. That is how the founding fathers intended it to be. They wanted to create a place where people could have the freedom to not only express their opinions but to also debate conflicting opinions and learn from the experience.
People can also protect their right to freedom by joining the military or running for office. By joining the military, you are willing to sacrifice your life for the people of the United States of America and their freedom. That is the ultimate sacrifice.
By running for office, you are swearing to the following oath, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” You are being elected to represent the views of the people and do what is in their best interests no matter what.
More ways Americans can uphold the spirit of freedom is by celebrating their freedom and teaching children the importance of freedom. It is vital to teach future generations about freedom so that they too can continue to protect it. It is also crucial to celebrate freedom so that we can remember the sacrifice that was made so that we could gain freedom and sustain it. Not every country has the privilege of freedom.
There are many ways that Americans can work to maintain the spirit of freedom stated in the Declaration of Independence, whether it is big or small. Every effort counts.