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NOVEMBER 2004
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Vote – The Price Has Been Paid
By Brenda K. Blakely

As I considered who I'm going to vote for in the upcoming elections, several thoughts came to mind. How did I get the right to vote in the first place? Who fought the battle to win my freedom to participate in an election?

It was a humbling experience.

America's freedom for the right to vote has been paid for on the battlefield. Blood from the sacrificed bodies of the committed armed forces were the currency used to pay the price. Lives have been lost and families left to live without their loved ones. The sacrifice has been paid.

What am I sacrificing to go to the polls and exercise this right, granted to me at such a high cost?

Our forefathers built this country, struggled to prepare documents and paid the cost so that future generations would have a voice in the workings of the country we call the United States of America. I enjoy this privilege because of the character and integrity of those who have gone before me. American blood has been drained, only to seep into domestic and foreign soils to protect this freedom I cherish.

Lives, forever lost to the future, paid the price never to speak or act
again.

Has my country already sacrificed the one who might have been President?

I know among the dead are those whose hugs are missed by a child, or whose comfort is forever gone for parents and grandparents. Because of the sacrifice there may be no son or daughter to carry on a family business.

I realized – on the battlefield the future of America was changed forever.

The battlefields became the marketplace, and blood the exchange medium to pay the price, for a freedom of which some other countries can only dream.

Parents live with grief for the dead dreams of success for their children. Families live without a father or mother. Many times, wives struggle to carry on without the breadwinner, who was also the head-of-the-house.

The gap in the generations never closes over the missing person.

So I must ask myself: Will I stand up and be counted by going to the polls on Election Day, or will I make excuses?

Not voting is a vote, too. If I don't vote, I am saying that exercising my freedom, my right, to vote is not worth the sacrifice, which has already been paid. It is my God-given right and duty to exercise my vote – the price has been paid.

All rights owned by Brenda K. Blakely
Brenda is a writer/consultant/educator. Her works include the "Freedom the Price is Paid" project (see FaithWriters’ marketplace) and the "Green Pastures/Red Tape" workshop. To view more of her work visit http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=7537
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