The Price of Freedom

Photograph of flag flying above Fort McHenry

Reflections on the world,
in the aftermath of the events of September 2001.




When I began thinking about, and writing about, the "perfect society" I was a young college student. While I lived in a capitalist society, I wondered why folks considered it so great, why American's as a group were so loved, as well as so hated.

As I studied many of the great philosophical texts I soon realized that there was no "perfect" society. In fact the ideal society, and the ideal world, was one in which man had the opportunity to choose the form of government that best suited him as an individual. The "ideal" was not so much about any one society as much as it was about the freedom to choose.

Just as it would be bold for me to say I've discovered the ideal society, it would be just as bold for me to proclaim I've discovered the ideal religion. I've been raised, and exposed to many segments in the Christian faith. I've also studied, and explored many of the world's religions and philosophies. I consider myself very open minded when it comes to religion. I live deeply and passionately, and have a great respect for people of many beliefs, for people without beliefs, don't have much. Once again, the "ideal" is not so much about any one religion as much as it about the freedom to practice our beliefs.

While I am not always excited about all that capitalism brings to society, it is a society in which we have a high degree of freedom. The events of September 2001 will remind many of us in this generation, and hopefully generations to come, to not become complacent about freedom. It is was makes us who we are. It is the price that the founding fathers of the United States paid with their lives in the Revolutionary War, and again with the War of 1812.

While my quest for defining the "ideal" society didn't start us as a patriotic endeavor, to an extent that's where this web site has taken me. It's been said that you should judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. The founding fathers of the United States paid a high price to establish this society. They paid a high price for something we have taken for granted, they paid a high price for our freedoms. In the past decades we have become complacent. We have forgotten the price for freedom.

In the aftermath of the terrorism of September 2001, I felt the need to do something positive, and patriotic. Living in the Mid-Atlantic region along the east coast, I have been to Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. many times, and have visited many of the symbols of America. With all the flag waving going on, I realized it was time I visited somewhere not all that far from where I lived, that I have never been, Fort McHenry. So the family and I visited the fort that was the birthplace of our National Anthem.

Join us in the pages that follow, as we reflect on the meaning of the Star Spangled Banner and the Battle of Baltimore.

Photograph of flag flying above Fort McHenry,
taken by Tom Peracchio, September 2001.