June 17, 2011: Appreciate and exercise your First Amendment freedoms, by Kayla Champlin

June 17, 2011 by

The First Amendment gives Americans freedoms that people in many other countries could never imagine. We are privileged to live in a country that believes in a democratic government and our opinions.

Over the years laws have changed and our Constitution has been amended. However, our First Amendment will continue to be dependable. We can have the peace of mind that our country stands for liberty and cares about its people.

In a small town like Concordia, sometimes we take our freedoms for granted.

As a recent high school graduate I have been asked numerous times what I want to do with my life. In fact, I have been asked this question ever since I was little.  I could be anything I desired and nobody ever told me different. That freedom is truly amazing. Many countries tell their citizens what to be. Ours tells us to follow our dreams. We have family, friends, teachers, and many others supporting us up until we succeed. There is no limit to what we can achieve if we set our minds to it.

Being on the school newspaper, I learned to use my freedom of speech. I was allowed to write what I believe and my writing couldn’t be censored as long as it stayed professional. This was an eye-opening experience. I learned how to articulate my opinions without getting in trouble. This is a wonderful freedom that we should all recognize and exercise.

There are multiple churches in this town that embrace the community with open arms. Freedom of religion allows us to worship at the place of our choice. You aren’t pressured by anyone to attend a specific church or ridiculed for not attending at all. You have the right to believe as you please.

These are just a few of the many freedoms I am thankful to have. They have gotten me farther in life and helped me reach my goals. Whether in a large city or a small town, I hope all citizens can learn to appreciate and exercise their freedoms. They were given to us for a reason and we should be very grateful.

 

— Kayla Champlin is a 2011 graduate of Concordia High School and the daughter of Steve and Kari Champlin.

 

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