All Maine Matters

July 2006



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Freedom Fighters From All Eras
By Roger Ek

I was asked to speak at an Independence Day gathering in our little town. At the appointed time I came out from behind the trees and marched toward the gathering. I had on a tri-cornered hat, cotton muslin tunic laced at the throat, loose trousers and moccasins. I was carrying a muzzle-loading rifle. People seemed surprised at my get-up. I spoke about our Founding Fathers, their sacrifices and how they fought for our freedoms. I spoke their names. They did all this because it was the right thing to do.

I then took off my tri-cornered hat, tunic and trousers to the surprise of the crowd. Underneath I had on a flight suit that I had worn in Vietnam. I had my .45 in the shoulder holster I wore in Vietnam. I put on my flight helmet and spoke about the flight crews and how every single one of them had been a volunteer. I spoke about their courage, their sacrifice, their dedication to each other and their service to our country. They are in many ways like our founding fathers. I spoke their names. Our Vietnam veterans did all that because it was the right thing to do.

Then I took off the flight suit. Underneath I had on an ordinary short-sleeved shirt and dun- garees. I spoke about the freedom fighters we have right here in Maine, struggling to keep the freedoms we still have and maybe, just maybe, regain some of the freedoms we have lost since the days of those Founding Fathers. We still have freedom fighters today.

We need to support them in their efforts to preserve freedom whether they are in our military in harms way or under attack right here at home in Northern Maine trying to keep what we have in economic harms way. I spoke their names. Today’s freedom fighters do this because it is the right thing to do.
These things need to be spoken about today, before they are forgotten altogether. The audience stood quietly. Maybe they were wondering if I was going to take anything else off. Perish the thought. Maybe they were wondering where all that came from. When they figured out that I was done and gathering up my stuff they broke out into applause.

I gave this talk about 12 years ago. I send this around Independence day on the years that I’m reminded of it.

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