Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

July 5, 2013

Kids have no idea what freedom means

— — This Independence Day I was thinking just how big a deal it is to live here. Coming from a military background I’ve had the opportunity to live in other countries in other times that seem pretty distant sitting here now.  East Berlin sticks in my mind as I recall cameras on top of every building watching everything that happens in the public square. Unless you were waiting for a bus, groups of people were quickly dispersed. You see, East Berliners did not have “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

For 28 years the 100-mile long Berlin Wall completely encircled the city of West Berlin. The Iron Curtain “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic” divided all of Europe from the end of World War II until it’s demise at the same time as the wall in 1989. The division was all about freedom. Countless Eastern Bloc citizens were willing to defy the heavily guarded borders for freedom and many died in their attempt. Freedom meant something to them. Freedom meant everything to them. Some left their families for it and others sold their very souls to get to the other side.

What does freedom mean today? An entire generation of Americans have grown up since 1990 with no knowledge, no connection whatsoever to the Cold War. Clueless. And, unfortunately, unappreciative of what has been freely spoon-fed to them. I’m not ragging on them, I’m ragging on everybody for not educating their own children on what it means to be free. What it means to be an American.

You simply cannot rely on our schools to educate your children on values — family values and traditional American values. That’s your job. So, here’s an idea: Pry the cell phone or game controller out of your kids’ hands, sit down and talk to them about what’s important to you and what should be important to them. You’ll be happy you did. Hey! If the shoe fits ...

Paul Dorsey

SFC, USA (Ret.)

Green Valley

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