Defining what freedom means to all of us
FRANLKIN GROVE – I got to celebrate the Fourth of July in a special way this year.
I took part in an Independence Day celebration dedicated to answering the question: What does freedom mean to me?
Max Baumgardner, of Franklin Grove, organizes the yearly patriotic celebration at Chaplin Creek Historic Village. He is a member of the Franklin Grove Historical Society and writes the programs for the Independence Day celebration. Baumgardner initially asked my colleague David Giuliani to speak at the event. David could not attend, so he asked me to speak on his behalf.
I am glad I got to participate in the event. It featured musical numbers performed by a choir, a presenting of the flags, and four readings from area residents about what freedom means to them.
That's where I came in. I shared with the audience what freedom means to me and other members of the press.
The First Amendment gives us the rights to freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and the right to petition our leaders. The media plays an important role in guarding that freedom.
That's a little of what I shared with the audience.
Each of the presenters had their own take on how freedom has defined their lives as American citizens. Hearing each one of them share their own experiences made me appreciate even more what freedoms we have in this country.
Another major draw of the program was a reading of The Declaration of Independence by Tom Wadsworth, playing the part of Thomas Jefferson.
The celebration was well attended. Despite the heat, a group of people showed up to start their Fourth of July off with a celebration that focused on freedom.
I thank Max for the opportunity, and everyone who attended and offered an encouraging word to all the speakers. Finally, I ask all the same question we were posed: What does freedom mean to you?
Sauk Valley Media reporter Kiran Sood covers government and happenings in Sterling and Rock Falls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-798-4085, ext. 529.