Thursday, March 18, 2004

Live Free Or Die

When I moved to New Hampshire I was surprised to discover that the state's motto was "Live Free Or Die." It seemed a much more severe way to put Patrick Henry's eloquent words, "Give me liberty or give me death." "Live Free Or Die" sounded like a threat some libertarian extremist might make with a gun to your head. But I was in total agreement with the sentiment. What good is living, if you can't live free? Because if you're not free, then those in charge of you can just up and decide someday that they're going to kill you, like they did with the ancestors on my dad's side of the family. That's why they up and left their countries and came here.

My mom's ancestors felt much the same way. "Antes Morrer Livres Que Em Paz Sujeitos" ("Rather die free than peacefully subjected") was what they said every time they were faced with a demand to surrender to even the mightiest of world powers. And die free they did.

How can I be any less brave than my ancestors?