Editor's Note: Chelsea Anderson's essay won fourth place in the Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma club's 2009 contest.
Prairie Valley Middle School
When an advertisement in a newspaper says "free," I think they use the word too simply from the way I would define it. It's not as simple as putting a price on items or a word to sell a product. It's far too important a concept for that. The word free brings many thoughts such as the slaves who'd been released from the hell that they'd been put through. I visualize Harriet Tubman leading the mistreated to freedom.
To define freedom though, is truly, more of an honor. It's the right to speak about whatever, whenever, to whomever. It's the right to not take shame in your ethnicity. With freedom you can drink from any public water fountain and state your own opinion to others. People have come to America for many reasons, but a very common reason has been so they can have a voice about what they believe in. Freedom has shaped our country to be the great nation it is today.
Freedom affects us immensely. Sometimes you don't realize how much you take it for granted until it's taken away. From me personally, it is like when I don't get my room cleaned, and my mom grounds me. I've then lost my liberty to do various activities. Therefore, with this I think of freedom as a privilege, something not truly appreciated until it is threatened or lost.
Freedom is a gain from combat. Sadly many lives have been lost fighting for our freedom. I wish the fallen could see the outcome of their heroism... a different nation, a nation with diversity being put behind us. Freedom isn't a dream anymore thanks to those who have fought and are presently fighting - it's a reality for all of us. It's a reality to speak your thoughts, tell about your dreams, and think what you want. It's a freedom of association - to form groups who support causes. It's the potential for turning the dreams, the thoughts, the support into futures. However, beyond all of this, I believe freedom is a voice deep inside us. It's a state of mind that once possessed can never be taken totally away.