Editorial: Words liberty, freedom are profaned

Walt Mares File Photo/Gila Herald: Three World War II veterans were honored serving as Grand Marshalls of the 2018 Duncan July 4 parade. All three are in their 90s. Sitting in the front seats, from left, are Charley Wagley, 94, U.S. Navy, and Roosevelt, and “Rosie” Freeman, 92, U.S. Army. Back seat, from left, is Lucille “Mickey” Goodner and husband Bruce. Goodner, 94, U.S. Marine Corps.

Haircuts, manicures are not sacred

Column By Walt Mares

Walt Mares

Freedom. Liberty. As of late, those words have been defined by some as a haircut, a manicure, a tattoo, or a trip to a bar. 

At the same time, for many of those people, liberty and freedom mean not having to wear protective face masks and not having to stay at least six feet away from other people.

Haircuts. Tattoos. Those were the kinds of things mobs began crying for in early May. So much so that they stormed state capitols. Some of them even packed firearms and wore camouflage. By gawd, they were there to defend their rights.

So what if a deadly disease in the form of a virus was spreading like wildfire around the world? Mobs demanding liberty and freedom are the types of folks who want what they want and they want it now, by gum.

Interestingly, about a week before the freedom hysteria began, America observed V-E Day. If you are at least not in your 60s you may not have any idea what that stands for. V-E marks the day the European Theater of World War II ended. 

The blood and sacrifice of Americans and their allies were incalculable. It was the bloodiest and most horrendous war the world had ever known. Their sacrifices make “liberty” and “freedom” sacred words.

It was worth it. It meant the end of the monstrous German Nazi regime, which killed millions of people, a great many of whom were civilians. 

Unfortunately, when the allies fought back, thousands and thousands of civilians were killed in Nazi Germany or countries it had overrun. That was the result of all-out war.

The Allied victory freed people, or what was left of them, in Nazi concentration camps and prisoner of war camps. Liberated were European countries, like France, that were being crushed under the boot of Nazism.

Imagine living long enough to escape the Nazi gas chambers, slave labor camps and doing so with almost no food, and rags for clothing in freezing temperatures. Those who survived were little more than walking skeletons.

Allied soldiers who liberated the camps saw what looked like the living dead. They also saw the actual dead piled high.

Imagine being terrified at the prospect of your neighbor, or a friend, turning you in to the authorities for saying something that could be construed as traitorous. It would mean instant death or being sent to such a camp.

Around a week after V-E Day 2020, President Donald Trump urged Americans to “liberate” themselves to enjoy “freedom” from restrictions in place to combat COVID-19. Ignoring the advice of America’s medical experts, many people acted out, with some moving on some state capitols in protest of the restrictions.

Acting on Trump’s call, they made “liberty” and “freedom” their battle cries. 

Wow! Not being able to get a haircut, manicure, a tattoo or having to wear a protective face mask? Oh, such tyranny! What tremendous sacrifices!

Treating those miniscule wants as sacrifices is a sacrilege in comparison.

In France, rows upon rows of white crosses mark the graves of Americans who gave their all for the true meaning of “liberty” and “freedom.”

Do not take their efforts in vain by using those words for the political, mundane wishes of today. They are sacred words. Do not profane them. 

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