This I Believe

Jordan - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on June 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Price of Freedom

On September 11, 2001, there was a terrorist attack on the United States that threatened the freedom of our citizens. I had no idea that this attack would affect me personally. Most of that day was spent watching the video footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings. I was only ten years old, and I didn’t understand the thousands of lives that were lost in such a horrific way. A few days after the attacks, my dad received an important phone call. He talked to my mom, and when I saw my mom later on that day, she looked upset. That night my dad told us that the Navy was sending him away in response to these terrorist attacks. He left a few days later and was gone for twelve months. I was heartbroken because my dad wasn’t around anymore to do the things we normally did such as play baseball, basketball, and go to the park. I didn’t understand why he had to go then. But looking back at it now, I understand that he had to keep his word when he promised to protect our country.

Throughout the history of the United States, there have been numerous times where men and women have stood up to defend the freedom that our country represents. We Americans tend to use the word freedom commonly, but do we really understand how we obtained this freedom or what we must do to keep it? Freedom is not something that we should take for granted. Freedom is not doing what we want when we want. Freedom in America is a way of life that our fore fathers fought and died for. Our country’s Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal and that every man should have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is what freedom means to me. Many, many American lives have been lost because they were defending these freedoms. Many more men and women, like my dad, spent months away from their families and friends to preserve these freedoms. So let’s not think of freedom as something that is free. I believe that freedom is not free; it has a price. My family has paid that price. I will never be able to get that time back with my dad and I will never know how hard it must have been for him to be gone.