Definition: Freedom

Student Group at Library of Congress

Washington, D.C. is one of our flagship destinations and a major part of our American Heritage Program. If you could experience the freedom to visit, what would you say? A group leader from Colorado asked four of her middle school Global Travelers to write about freedom, what it is, what it means to them, and the value it holds:

What does freedom mean to me?

by Dylan Prichett-Ettner

What does freedom mean to me? Freedom is being responsible on the roads and not drinking and driving, or texting or calling on the phone while driving. Another freedom is hanging out with your friends. In some countries, hanging out with your friends is not an option.

Another freedom is to go to school. This freedom is important because a lot of people in some countries don’t have this option. School is very important.

Playing sports is a freedom. Playing sports is important for kids to get outside and try new things. Sports is very important for kids and their parents.

All of these things are freedoms that we have in the USA and that are important to me.

Freedom Fights for Us

by Hannah Johnson

Freedom means the world to me. My freedom is more important to me than I can even fathom. Freedom means rights. The right to choose what job I have, what God I worship or don’t worship, how to act, and what I buy.

The freedom to choose is not only something that we treasure, but it is something we will fight for. Freedom represents our country’s strength and bravery; our soldiers self-sacrifice. America is the land of the free, and we will fight to protect our rights; Our constitution. Without our freedoms, what would our country be? What would this world even be if there was no country like the U.S. to stand for human rights and freedom.

Freedom literally means the world to me. It is not only something we fight for. It is something that figuratively fights for us.

What Does Freedom Mean to Me?

Danika Stumm

To me freedom is being able to decide what you eat, where you live, and who you marry. Freedom is having the right to choose the clothing you wear to express yourself, and being able to decide what religion you want to be a part of. The freedom we have is special: not every country in the world has these rights. Some people take the word ‘freedom’ too seriously. They think that because we have ‘freedom’ they can go rob a bank or vandalise street buildings.

But how did we get our freedom? We got our freedom from our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents fighting for our freedom, for their freedom and for the freedom of our country. We didn’t just get freedom handed to us on a silver platter; we had to work for it, battling every day so that we could be free. During the war, these soldiers had to be separated from their families and loved ones.

So you may ask “what does freedom mean to me?” Freedom is being able to go to school and being able to read and write. Without the freedom we have today, everybody would be the same. You wouldn’t choose who you marry, your religion, and the clothes you wear.

So thank you to all the war veterans who survived the war, and the ones who didn’t!


by Mikki “Hollywood” Lawrence

What does freedom mean to you? Most Americans take freedom for granted. They don’t notice they are “using” freedom while watching videos on YouTube. After researching for this essay I noticed how much freedom I was taking for granted. Now after thinking about freedom I notice that freedom means many things to me, such as the ability to live how I desire and also freedom for minorities and women.

The ability to live how you desire is an unknown phrase in some countries. The ability to express actions (with limits) shows our countries freedom and value. Also being able to show emotions such as happiness, annoyance, anger, excitement, and frustration should be valued. Considering that in some rural cities in India, showing emotion is odd and frowned upon.

We also take freedom of speech for granted because in some Middle Eastern countries, men and women are not allowed to speak negatively or express opinions about their government or their feelings. People that do express opinions, watch “inappropriate” YouTube videos or write negative comments can be imprisoned or executed. That funny dog talking video isn’t so funny now.

Also, the hard fought fight for women and “minorities” to be able to have their freedom is also what freedom means to me. For example, “minorities” and women being able to vote was a huge debate in the USA. Thankfully we have that privilege. Another subject that wasn’t allowed for a very long time was woman property rights. Women were not allowed to own property alone. The law was that we could not own property without a male in the house. But we could still cook, clean, make clothes, and care for children. That’s so sexist! Most importantly for me is not being able to have a profession. I wouldn’t be able to be a surgeon or anything I wanted to be. I would just have to be a stay at home mom and/or wife. Some women would be able to have a bright future but can only dream about having different professions.

This essay has resulted in me learning about what freedom actually does mean to me. I’m starting to respect our countries leaders and values more than ever.

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