Things I Am Grateful For: Freedom

While I don't actually live in the US of A at the moment, I am still grateful for what the passport I carry means for me.  Today I am grateful for freedom and the American servicemen and women who have fought and died for our country so we can live free of oppression and tyranny.  I am grateful that I have the freedom of speech and the right to speak out against unconstitutional policies or unfair laws without fear of reprisal from the government.  I am grateful for the freedom of movement and the ability to legally move with in and with out of the country.  I am grateful for taxation with representation.  I may not always agree with the stances of our elected officials but I am grateful that I have the right to vote for or against them without fear of retribution.  I am grateful for taxes that build our country and boost our social and political systems.

Today also reminds me that not everyone in the world is so lucky.  I believe my colleague said it best in her facebook status today; "Freeeeeeeeeeedooooooooom! Freedom from persecution...that is the foundation of my great nation. Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans and especially to all the recently resettled refugees who have a chance to start a new life like our forefathers did...."  I am grateful that my country recognizes that not everyone is as lucky as those born in the US and remembers that the country's foundation was built on refugees and immigrants and that the government continues to accept the huddled masses en masse. 

What does Independence Day mean to you?  What are you grateful for today?