June 30

Let Freedom Ring

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Let Freedom Ring

By Deborah Johnson

June 30, 2024

Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, founders, Independence Day, let freedom ring, Liberty Bell, podcast, Statue of Liberty, Tom Hand

Saying, “Let freedom ring” can sound trite with many different interpretations, depending on the listener and the agenda of the listener. Our freedoms in this country are extremely valuable and that value increases when you realize freedom is no longer there. John Adams, one of the signers on our Declaration of Independence in 1776, wrote to his wife, “I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration.”* There is a cost to maintain our freedoms. We have recently seen billionaires pay great amounts of money to protect some of those rights.

Free speech is not a right in many countries around the world. But with that free speech comes messages that may or may not align with history. So my encouragement is for us to revisit history with some of our unalienable rights and freedoms to review how those privileges came to be and how and when they were established.

Many of our rights were shaped by a Biblical influence as courts existed for the purpose of securing justice. Thus, the saying in our Pledge of Allegiance, “With liberty and justice for all,” was an outflow of that influence. In fact, European settlers first came to America seeking religious and economic freedom. They fought hard, shedding much blood and giving many lives to break free of the British rule of heavy taxation and governance.

After the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, which established how a government should run, there was a movement in favor of a Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights limited the power of the central government, protecting the rights of the individual and states. There are so many areas we could cover in a podcast about our freedoms, but we will focus here on just a few as we are reminded of the rich legacy and privileges we enjoy that were fought hard and long for.

7-2-2024
Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Let Freedom Ring with Deborah Johnson 7-2-2024
00:00:00 00:00:00

One: Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to our Constitution and were ratified, or made legally binding, on December 15, 1791. These rights are not just America’s proclamation of liberties from government power, but they have become a symbol of freedom to the world. It’s not a long document, but very specific at only 468 words. Included are the freedom of religion, to bear arms, for private property, due process of law, jury trial, prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, origin of rights directly from God and limited powers. Included here in the article is a free download of the Bill of Rights with their original language.

America did not become the world’s greatest superpower by accident nor did it gain freedom for its citizens without the commitment of men that put all on the line to make sacrifices for that freedom. Many men sacrificed property, wealth and even their lives. It was a price they paid for our freedoms. They knew what they sacrificed would have far-reaching tentacles for the establishment of a country based on solid principles.

Two: The American Flag

I grew up in classrooms that began each school day saluting our flag with our hand over our hearts citing the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a rote exercise at that stage of my life but has become such a fond memory now as today, most classrooms no longer salute the flag that has a been a symbol of freedom and independence for our country for centuries.

A flag represents the identity of a nation or culture, symbolizing its history, values and unity. The first official national flag, known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was authorized by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. Flags are powerful symbols of freedom, democracy and resilience and play a crucial role in official ceremonies and events such as inaugurations, diplomatic functions and sporting events. Our American flag is used to honor those who served our country, such as former military. When a soldier is laid to rest, the American flag is draped on their coffin then the family is presented a folded flag during their funeral honors. We have one of those folded flags in our home from a family member who served our country. It is a prized possession.

Three: Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty

On July 8, 1776, four days after the approved Declaration of Independence, the famous bell now hanging in the tower of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, rang. It rang to call citizens to assemble together outside the State House for a special announcement. This is when the new Declaration of Independence was read aloud by Col. John Nixon to the crowd that gathered. It is called “Liberty Bell” because of the Biblical inscription from Leviticus 25:10 is emblazoned around it: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land until all the inhabitants thereof.”

As the Civil war was ending in 1865, French statesman Edouard de Laboulaye proposed a statue as a gift from France to the United States to commemorate the two nation’s friendship and shared concepts of liberty. The statue depicts a robed female figure representing Libertas, the ancient Roman goddess of freedom, holding a torch of light raised high in her right hand for all to see. She is 305 feet tall and in her left hand is a tablet with the engraving, July 4, 1776.

Her crown’s seven rays or spikes projecting from her head represent reaching all seas and continents and on her right foot is a broken chain of shackles that she is about to step over. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886. Approximately 4.44 million people visit the Statue of Liberty every year, making it one of the most famous tourist attractions in New York.

Four: Other Monuments

Monuments and national symbols of a nation reflect the heart of the people and identify many of their beliefs. America’s monuments and symbols aren’t a record of nations conquered or military encounters. Rather, they contain the declaration that the source of our birth, freedoms, liberty and greatness is God.

Within the Library of Congress is the Gutenberg Bible and a hand-copied Giant Bible of Mainz. Many biblical inscriptions can be found on the ceiling and walls. On the outside of the Supreme Court is a marble relief of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. The Capital Building includes eight large paintings in the Rotunda presenting aspects of our Christian history. “In God We Trust” is inscribed boldly in letters behind the Speaker’s podium in the House Chamber. Also, above the central gallery door is a marble relief of Moses. Statues of many early leaders are displayed throughout the Capitol.

The National Archives, The Washington Monument, The White House, The Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial all include inscriptions including prayers, scripture and statements of freedom and independence. This is history that cannot be erased or changed. America has faced its share of mistakes through the centuries, but the founders demonstrated such wisdom in crafting a declaration that provided freedom and included checks and balances to protect our freedoms. We need to continue to fight hard to protect those freedoms and to let freedom ring!

6-28-2024
Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Telling the Great American Story with Tom Hand 6-28-2024
00:00:00 00:00:00

American Story

Many people who arrive at the halftime of life or even end of a career start asking the question, “What’s next?” For Tom Hand that question was answered by developing his passion for America’s Founding Era with a foundation that masterfully tells the American Story through videos, podcasts, books and a flourishing grant program. It’s a wonderful way to give back and continue living life with significance and purpose. As we celebrate America’s Independence Day this year, we look at the history of our country with the sacrifices so many gave for our freedoms. We also are inspired by Tom’s message to live every day with significance. Tom Hand created Americana Corner in 2020 to share informative stories of the momentous events, significant documents and influential leaders that helped create and shape our country. Through compelling articles and captivating videos, Tom hopes to rekindle a spirit of patriotism in his fellow Americans and remind them of our nation’s incredible past and why our founding era still matters today. You can reach Tom at: https://www.AmericanaCorner.com 

Application

I encourage you to check out some of the resources and articles listed in the article, including a wonderful interview with Tom Hand. He made the decision to answer the question “What’s Next?” in his life by starting a non-profit, Americana Corner. Its focus is to produce videos, books and articles of historical content, leaving a legacy that is educational and inspirational. His actions demonstrate a wonderful example of what is possible for anyone at mid-career or the halftime of life. So don’t wait and put off to tomorrow what you can start today. Celebrate our freedoms with a decision to live with significance and purpose with gratefulness, especially for those who came before us to fight hard for we enjoy today. 

Extra Articles 

The Value of Common Sense

Additional Resources

An American Triumph by Tom Hand – America’s Founding Era Through the Lives of Ben Franklin, George Washington, and John Adams

The Founder’s Bible compiled by Signature Historian David Barton – The Origin of the Dream of Freedom, NAS

*John H. Hazelton, The Declaration of Independence: Its History (New York: Da Capo Press, 1970), p. 19

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America did not become the world’s greatest superpower by accident nor did it gain freedom for its citizens without the commitment of men that put all on the line to make sacrifices for that freedom.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

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Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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