[noun; ~Pronunciation: /luhk-shuh-ree/]
- Definition: Most often a non-basic needs fulfilling good or item that is not available to everyone, and is only owned by those who can afford it. Sometimes it’s of a state of being, often referred to in phrases such as: “I don’t have the luxury to… [fill in the gaps as you wish].” Those who do not have a certain luxury often want it, and those who do often take it for granted.
Freedom is a luxury.
“Freedom is never given; it is won” – A. Philip Randolph
Today is the Dutch National Liberation Day, for on May 5th, 1945, World War II was finally officially over for us.
Needless to say that our TV channels are flooding with war movies, remembrance shows, and every news edition has special items on our national liberation that happened 71 years ago.
For that, by the way, thank you Americans and Englishmen, and everyone else who helped us get to where we are today.
One of the shows I saw last night was a TV special about a military cemetery, where mostly soldiers are buried, but also war victims, mainly from WW II. For every headstone in the huge and beautifully constructed garden they had gathered a volunteer to stand behind it, representing the person who was buried there. What gave me the chills was not only seeing so many people standing there, but also knowing the volunteers had been selected by age and gender, to reflect the individual lying in the grave beneath them.
There were so many children… I don’t cry often, but I needed a tissue yesterday. Why do people do each other such harm? And to children as well!? I’ll never get it!
The TV show covered background stories of three of the people who are buried in Nationaal Ereveld Loenen (the name of the cemetery), and one of the people they interviewed (I think it was the wife of the soldier who was lost during a peace mission in Afghanistan, but I am not sure), said: “People forget freedom isn’t a given. It is something many people here have fought for, have given their lives for, and it is something we have to keep fighting for in the future.”
She was right. We remember it every year, but probably only because we like to have a day off. In fact, people think so little of our National Liberation Day, we only get a day off for it every five years. That’s how important it is to us… NOT!
The words of the woman on TV have haunted me since last night. Freedom doesn’t come for free. Freedom is a luxury. If you don’t have it, you wish for nothing else. But if you do have it, you are blind to your richness and easily take it for granted.
I think it is safe to say that every country in the world has at least once in its history experienced war, or is experiencing war right now. War never ends, but neither will fighting for freedom.
It was a beautiful day today. The sun’s been very kind to us lately and all the people out celebrating the 5th of May couldn’t have asked for better weather (because it’s also Ascension Day the nation still got a day off, despite it not being 2020 yet). Still, I have been feeling down today. I’ve done absolutely nothing but sit in the sun and read some comics (yes, some women read comics, get over it!), and feel bummed out. No particular reason for it, I thought, I just felt bummed out.
But there was a reason after all. I feel sad because we are a free country and take it for granted. There’s so many countries out there who are still fighting for their liberation, and what do we do to help them? We send their refugees back home, because we see them as a burden to our society. Home, where they’ll probably end up in a special cemetery and where maybe one day, in 71 years or so, volunteers will stand behind their headstones to represent the victims of another cruel and useless war.
Freedom is a luxury. Never take it for granted!
Happy Liberation Day, everyone!