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On July 4th, don’t be afraid to be free

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Independence Day, our beloved Fourth of July, gives every American an opportunity and reason to rejoice. Especially with the myriad challenges that our nation faces, we must resolve to protect our freedoms. Our country, despite many lamentable examples of political divisiveness, compromised and even complete failures of leadership, and ubiquitous violence, still has what it takes to guarantee the freedom of its citizens.

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Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black proclaimed more than a half century ago, “We must not be afraid to be free.” That is precisely what Americans fought for centuries ago when striving to gain independence from England. People sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy the gifts of that independence. We must continue to honor that legacy.

Independence doesn’t imply isolation from one another or mean that one can do anything one wants; rather, it emphasizes that we all need each other. Valuing ourselves and others is crucial to our freedom.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his Jan. 6, 1941, State of the Union address to Congress, proclaimed that all people are entitled to the following four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.

Norman Rockwell, the artist, memorialized each of these freedoms in his historic paintings in 1943.

Those four freedoms must be preserved. All people are equally entitled to receive the benefits and possibilities inherent in them.

American’s noble experiment of democracy is fraught with complications. Please don’t take your freedoms for granted; protect and revere them. We must not abrogate our responsibilities to do so, in order that our beloved democracy will not only succeed, but thrive and prevail.

Happy holiday.

Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View

Fly the flag

Will I see more flags being flown on this Fourth of July? Probably not.

It’s always the same on all the holidays — so few flags. I guess they don’t make flags anymore.

Annette G. Weber, Old Irving Park

Vote as humanitarians

We know that Trumpcare would be an abomination. Ask your senators to vote against ACA repeal and vote as humanitarians, not biased party members. America is a great and compassionate country. Let’s keep it that way!

Carole Vitaterna, Northbrook

Easier to say no

Republicans are finding it very difficult to create legislation that can be enthusiastically supported by a sufficient number of its senators and representatives, much less our president. It was much easier to just say “no” to anything President Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to do.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

Hard to take seriously

It was almost impossible to pick up the paper last week and read the article about Chicago violence being a question of morality and take it seriously. This coming from an administration that doesn’t even seem to having a passing acquaintance with the truth. Last week, the New York Times printed a whole page consisting of nothing but lies uttered by the president.

But the breach in morality goes into other aspects of the code as well. Last week the president’s press secretary, the daughter of a spokesman for the religious right, defended the president, who again had no problem maligning a woman on Twitter with a barrage of disrespectful comments. It seems that no one in Washington is in a position to pick up and cast a stone at anyone here in Chicago.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park