People with a wide variety of beliefs and backgrounds came together in Riverfront Park on Saturday to celebrate the Fourth of July. As they sat in the shade with their cones of shaved ice, we asked a few what freedom means to them.
Craig Amoth: “I appreciate the fact that I have the same opportunities as everybody else, to better myself if I choose to. If I stay focused on what I want to do, I can do that. And if I choose not to, I can choose not to also and just lay back. I appreciate the opportunity that freedom gives me.”
Danny Crossley: “Being able to pursue your dreams. I know this country was founded on freedom of religion, to respect other people’s religion. And in turn I would expect that people would respect what I believe in. You don’t have to join my church or anything; I just would like them to respect what I believe.”
Jeri Erskine: “Freedom to me means being able to do and have as much fun as I want. It means having the freedom to express myself and to have life’s pleasures, to have the life I want. Freedom to me means other people’s sacrifices are appreciated by me. Freedom to me means that a lot of people have done a lot of great things for me personally. My dad was in the Korean War and he fought for what he believed in, and that means a lot to me. He fought for everybody’s freedom, not just the people of Korea but for us growing up. I appreciate all the vets everywhere that have done so much for us and for letting us be free for what we want to do.”
Julia Pitcher: “Freedom is, I think, to believe in what you want. Some people, it’s Buddhism, Hinduism. You’re not forced to have to worship whoever. You don’t have to worship anyone. You could be really anyone you want.”
Brianna Rowan: “Freedom to me means that you have the opportunity to say and do as you please, because of those who fight for your rights. Yeah. That’s about it. It just means you have the opportunity to do and say what you will without being hassled, and be respected. If people don’t agree with you, they’re still respectful of you.”
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