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What Freedom Means around the Bush Center

July 1, 2016 3 minute Read by Christopher Walsh
Freedom is a universal right that matters to all people.  Watch our short film, "What is Freedom?", and discover what freedom means to individuals around the world.

Americans often reflect on the meaning of freedom as they celebrate their independence every Fourth of July. In honor of the approaching holiday, we polled people around the Bush Center to learn what freedom means to them.

“Freedom is hard to appreciate until you don’t have it.  My father grew up in communist-occupied Hungary, and he and so many like him had to make incredible sacrifices – like leaving behind their family at the age of 16 – in order to experience freedom.  Thinking about the people that are willing to give up everything to live in a free country is a powerful reminder of how precious it is. – Andrew, External Affairs

“Freedom is going to college to pursue a degree to make a difference—seeing friends and family fight for our country, going to church to pursue faith without persecution. Freedom is opportunity.” – Ali, Intern

“As a retired Navy veteran, freedom to me is the ability to set your own destiny.  I strongly believe that every person should have the ability to shape their own destiny.  I am indebted to those who have gone before me to protect that very treasure we call freedom!  Thanks to all that have served and to those that are currently serving!” – Robert, Operations 

“We are all created for a unique purpose with individual talents, strengths, and beliefs shaped by our experiences. Freedom is important because it creates an environment in which these unique traits are welcomed, celebrated, and used for the betterment of mankind.” – Emma, Intern

“Freedom is giving people an equal opportunity to pursue happiness with human dignity.” – Jieun, Human Freedom

“Freedom is the unhindered ability to dream big, learn constantly, and develop fully—to see ideas become realities. Freedom facilitates befriending and learning from people who have different backgrounds, values, and beliefs by embracing the fundamental truth that all human beings are equal and merit the same rights and opportunities.” – Rachel, Intern

“Freedom is a universal, God-given right that belongs to all people and allows us to chart our own course in life. But freedom is also responsibility. It must not be degraded to the mindset of ‘doing whatever we want without consequences,’ but cherished as the primary mechanism for opportunity, prosperity and joy.” – Chris, Human Freedom


Author

Christopher Walsh
Christopher Walsh

Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.  In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight. 

Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.

A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies.  He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.

Full Bio

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