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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

“So That We May…”

It wasn’t too long ago, some 227 years ago, that those who called themselves Americans stood up against the tyranny of a king 3000 miles across the ocean. They stood up and fought; some died, today we call them patriots, rebels, revolutionaries, and founding fathers. They fought, they died, and they sacrificed all they had so that liberty justice and rights could be brought to the people of this country.

The rights they gave us, the rights they sacrificed and died for were handed down to the masses. They gave the people the rights to freedom of speech, religion, press, to gather, to protest, to ask the government, to complain about the ills that they felt were wrought upon them. Never before in history, and very rarely seen again had a country guaranteed so much for the people. Not only was it a guarantee for the people of the Revolution, but to the future generations that would live in this great country.

It wasn’t too long ago, some 143 years ago that black men women and children weren’t free. Some were free of the bonds of slavery, but not of the bonds placed on them by society; others still were owned, confined to their master as property and nothing more, though they longed for much more. They were owned as cattle was owned, and yet they were people. Some, for the entire 19th century argued fought and died for their release, for their emancipation, but it would not come so easily or voluntarily from those that held the chains.

It took a war of neighbor vs. neighbor, friend against friend, and brother fighting brother to free those that were not. It took over six hundred thousands deaths to divide and unite the country. More soldiers died in one three-day battle than did in the entire Vietnam War. But those that died, and those that lived, did not die, did not fight and sacrifice, in vain. Their deaths were not meaningless. They died for freedom, both North and South. They died to fulfill those promises Jefferson, Adams, Washington and all the founders made 87 years prior.

It wasn’t too long ago, some 63 years ago, that the whole world was involved in a war. The war was fought for liberty justice and freedoms; not just in our borders for they were secure, but for borders thousands of miles away. Soldiers died to set the oppressed free. They liberated nations, and peoples.

They didn’t fight for their own liberties. They didn’t fight for their rights. They fought so that other men women and children who were strangers to them, who lived within other countries’ borders, could have the liberties that America had. The battles may have taken place on the soil of another country. America may not have been threatened, but the liberty of the world was at stake and the brave soldiers fought for those that they might have never met. Their deaths were not in vain.

It wasn’t too long ago, some 40 years ago, that black people didn’t share in all the rights and privileges they were promised at the end of the Civil War. States had found ways of denying them rights they like all Americans were entitled to. Men and women were denied the right to vote the right to gather and the right to petition the government. So they held sit ins, and “illegal” marches. They were sprayed with fire hoses, beaten and thrown in jail. Some were hanged, and one proud and clear voice of the voiceless was shot as he stood on the balcony of a hotel. Their rights were finally secured, and the racial barriers that were placed 100 years before were slowly torn down. They did not struggle in vain. Their children and grandchildren enjoyed rights they could not have dreamed of at the time.

It wasn’t too long ago, some 40 years ago, that a President who had asked the people to do what they could for their country was killed for what he believed. It wasn’t too long ago some 35 years ago that his brother was shot and killed before he even had a chance. It wasn’t too long ago that 58 thousand soldiers died in a country some never heard of fighting for reason they did not know. But these men did not die in vain.

It wasn’t too long ago almost 2 years to be precise that three thousand men women and children were killed in a terrorist attack. They did not fight. They did not declare war. They simply lived, but they did not die in vain.

They and the soldiers before them did not die in vain simply because they died for the freedoms of the people. They died securing the rights, and reminding those that would follow not to take those rights in vain. It wasn’t too long ago last week more or less that a girl attending Manhattenville College turned her back to the flag of the United States of America. Though her back was turned to the flag it was not turned to those who died. They fought so that she may be able to do this. So that she may be able to turn her back to the flag. So that she and others may disagree with what the government has done. It is not done in vain. It is not done out of jest.