The month of December annually marks a time when most of us reflect on our many blessings, including, of course, the birth of Jesus Christ and the freedom we have in America to worship as we choose. We pause in December to consider ourselves thankful to live in the United States of America, the bastion of free people and ideas, the "shining city on a hill" that has shone the path to freedom and hope for billions of people around the world. In recent years most of us have also included in our prayers and our generosity the members of our armed services and their families. They are truly the greatest among us, for they fight and sacrifice every day so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms and rights endowed by our Creator, and pursue our own individual dreams and happiness.
This month, on December 15, 2005, the people of Iraq will go to the polls for the third time this year to exercise their newly acquired right to vote. In January 2005, 8.5 million Iraqis voted to choose representatives for the newly formed Iraqi National Assembly. The purple-stained index fingers of Iraqis voting for the first time showed the world that the price of freedom is worth paying, and that those who have paid the ultimate price did not do so in vain.
The loud roar of a few left-leaning politicians and media outlets in the U.S. and abroad who take their freedoms for granted will not silence the smiles and raised index fingers of millions of Iraqis tasting freedom for the first time.
December also marks numerous milestones which remind us of our nation's unique role in establishing and preserving the cause of freedom throughout the world.
On December 2, 1863, the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol, where she stands today upon a globe encircled with our national motto, E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One. The plaster model of Freedom arrived in the U.S. from Rome in 1860, and was sent to the Mills Foundry in Bladensburg, Maryland to be cast in bronze.
The foundry's foreman went on strike before the casting was finished but Clark Mills, the foundry's owner, rejected the foreman's demand for higher wages. Mills turned to Philip Reid, a former slave who had been working on the project, to complete the bronze casting of Freedom. Reid completed the project and, with the help of other former slaves freed under the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of 1862, assembled Freedom's five one-ton sections on the Capitol grounds.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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