Freedom to be Free
Each year at this time, on the eve of Fourth of July, I'm reminded of a phrase that echoes across this great country. The voices that carry it can be traced back to the birth of our nation. It's origins as deep as the roots of the Red Cedars that grow on the battlefields of the south and as vast as the oceans that have carried countless American soldiers to foreign lands to uphold its very meaning.
No, Freedom Is Not Free.
Never shall we forget the true meaning of these four powerful, poignant words. Nor the sacrifices made by those who have and continue to uphold and defend the blanket of freedom that allows each of us to sleep peacefully at night. Unlike years past, I am this year struck by something different: I contend that freedom has become synonymous with security, safety and protection.
As such, I think it only appropriate that this year, as we stop to reflect on our freedom, we recognize not just the incredible men and women of our armed forces but the everyday heroes right in our own communities who work tirelessly to uphold our freedom, our security our safety and our protection. Take a moment to acknowledge those individuals right in your backyard that are on the front lines for you and I each and everyday.
No our freedom is not free... and neither is our security, our safety or our protection.
Consider your local police department, highway patrol or even volunteer auxiliary police force that patrols the parks and beaches that will be filled with 4th of July revelers next week. The bleeding edge of our local fabric of freedom, these individuals don't just uphold our laws, they provide an umbrella of protection that ensures that my family and I will celebrate a safe and sane holiday weekend. A holiday free from the threat of real harm or that over-imbibed sun lover that decides my son's frisbee would make a better nacho platter than a beach toy. Eat, drink, celebrate, rest easy and remember your local champions of freedom.
Firefighters and EMS
25 Million. That's roughly the number of 911 calls responded to by US fire departments and Emergency Medical Services the last time statistics were taken in 2010. Think about it, who do we call when the proverbial “defecation hits the oscillation?” The first responders are not the military, nor should they be. More than likely it will be your local fire department, paramedic or EMT. They respond regardless of emergency or threat be it terrorist, natural disaster or medical emergency. September 11th and countless other emergencies proved that at those moments when our very freedoms were under attack these brave men and women stepped forward and answered the call as they do each and every day in small towns across this country.
Most of us never consider the threats that surround us when venture to the beach. We march across the sand oblivious to the dangers that lurk on and offshore. Perhaps it's the subconscious knowledge of the ever present guard in the tower that allows us to take our safety and security for granted? As a lifelong coastal dweller I've watched countless individuals young and old snatched from the frothy waters of certain death but for the ever watchful eyes of these guardians of freedom. As you pass the tower on your next visit to the beach take a moment to pause and acknowledge the man or woman in the tower and the freedom they protect.
You might be surprised to learn that safety and protection not education are the first responsibility of any teacher. Think about that, the protection of our children is the primary obligation of our educators. These men and women are charged with providing security for our nations greatest asset each and every day. Do you think that Victoria Soto the Connecticut school teacher who gave her own life by placing herself between the face of evil and her own students took this oath seriously? Schoolyard threats can be internal or external but you can rest assured that our nation's teachers stand vigilant to ensure that freedom and security of each child is protected.
Courtesy of The Independent Sentinal
Not every hero wears a uniform, badge or gun.. Every day common citizens stand up to tyranny and injustice and defend the very freedoms upon which this country was built. Ordinary people like you and I who take a stand, some visibly some within the confines of their own homes, to insure our safety and security. When John Meis, a volunteer student security officer at Seattle Pacific University subdued and disarmed a campus shooter last month he not only saved countless lives he sent a message that we as Americans will not allow our basic freedoms to be encroached upon. I contest that this country is full of people like John Meis waiting for their opportunity to uphold our freedom.
Courtesy of KIROTV.com
Our Armed Forces
The frontlines of freedom. The individual threads of the very fabric that defines this nation. The men and women who have defended, protected, secured and enabled the liberty that has become a beacon of freedom for the world. How can we ever begin to thank not only those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice but those who have and continue to place themselves in harms way so that we may live, prosper and thrive as a free nation? We cannot, but we can stop to acknowledge them and to raise a glass in their honor not only this holiday but everyday. Cherish them as you cherish your friends and loved ones this July 4th, but for them, this moment would not be possible.
Courtesy of UMKC.com
Upon reflection, the instruments of freedom, the men and women by whom our very safety, security and protection are founded are not as obvious as one might think. Each day we are affected by a multitude of silent heroes who have dedicated their lives to ensuring our liberty.
All of us should take time to relax this July 4th, surround ourselves with friends and loved ones and enjoy all that freedom affords us but we should also take a moment to pause and recognize the people in our lives both home and abroad who make this day and every day possible. Because...
No, Freedom Is Not Free and it shouldn't be.
I'm sure we've just scratched the surface here. We'd love to hear from you...
Who are the amazing people in your life that enable, ensure and protect your freedom? We encourage you to use this forum to share their story and your gratitude.
About Scott Seymour
The son of an avid outdoorsman and early waterman, Scott Seymour was born into an adventurous lifestyle. Having spent most of his formative years along the remote beaches of Baja California and the dusty backroads of nearly every mountain range on the western edge of North America he understands what its like to live off the beaten path and on the road less travelled. Those early years were spent diving, surfing, fishing, mountaineering, exploring, prospecting and getting lost and found literally and figuratively on a regular basis. While an atypical childhood it may have been, it forged an adventurous spirit and a thirst for life that has continued to guide him through adulthood.
As a collegiate volleyball player at UCLA, Scott developed a passion for teamwork and helping others meet their maximum potential. He went on to build a successful career leading and managing highly efficient sales teams for various national and global organizations. In 2008, feeling that familiar yearning for adventure he made a career 180 and for the past several years has worked as a bail and recovery agent in Southern California. Scott is also a registered EMT and first responder and will be starting the fire academy in January of this year with the goal of becoming a paramedic.
A self proclaimed “gear junkie” Scott can still be found most days researching and testing new equipment and strategies while stand up paddling, surfing or exploring the coastlines of Southern California or Mexico.
He resides in San Clemente with his wife and two junior watermen.