Freedom Is Not Free


1 a veteransToday is Veteran’s Day. It is a day set aside to stop, remember, and pay respect to all those men and women who died defending and protecting the freedoms we hold dear and enjoy every single day in the United States of America.

These days it is often too easy to forget that freedom is not free. There is a price tag on freedom. And it is a high one.

We all remember the first lines of the Declaration of Independence – “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…..”

And we also remember the second section – “We hold these truths to be self-evident….”

But many of us do not remember the closing words of the Declaration of Independence:


And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


Whether you are a pacifist or a supporter of the various wars our nation has fought, or somewhere in between we all owe a debt of gratitude and should honor and give thanks to those who gave the ultimate – their lives – in service to our country.

A little more than two weeks from today America will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of one of, if not the 1 a 3 veterans greatest American speech ever delivered – The Gettysburg Address.

The speech was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863 to dedicate a part of the Gettysburg battle field as a cemetery for the fallen of both sides of the Civil War.

The main purpose of Lincoln’s speech was to unite the nation during a divisive war and to assure her citizens that even after the war representative government would survive; that it was left to us – the living – to make sure the dead had not died in vain. That it was up to us – the living – to make sure that representative government would survive!

Even though there has been no formal declaration of war, I believe that at this time America is at war and at a crossroad as dangerous to the country as during the Civil War. There are those among us who would, under the guise of doing good and making life ‘better’ who would take away American’s essential freedoms.

History books may well call this era The Age of Authoritarianism. Today we have individuals, organizations, and politicians who think they rule by divine right of God and that they have the right to demand and coerce us to do what they want, and what they think is right for all three hundred million of us!

From telling us what we must eat, what kind of light bulb to use, what kind of car to drive, and right on down to what kind of health insurance we must purchase. Individually any one of these, or all of them, may be good ideas. But it is the turning of the government into a police force to enforce those decisions and punish those who do not obey that is a very slippery slope. If you are a student of history, you know that many movements and ideas are cyclical. History is rife with authoritarian movements. That is why we must be eternally vigilant!

Therefore, it is imperative that we all remember that America is still a representative government and that this government and this nation is ours, not the politicians nor those with the most money, or the loudest megaphone or political clout.

On this Veteran’s Day each of us, those who have served in the armed forces, and those who have not, should stand together and be determined and should rededicate ourselves to Lincoln’s clarion call of 150 years ago in the Gettysburg address:


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Featured Recipe           Baked Cod Casserole


Eat Well magazine, which I get at the library, often has some pretty good recipes as the recipe below proves.

It is easy, relative quick, and fantastically tasty.

I used Vienna bread rather than whole wheat. I chose Swiss instead of Gruyere [which I adore] simply to keep the cost down.

I used haddock instead of cod simply because no cod was available and haddock is a salt water relative of cod.

This is what you will need for 3-4 people:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 medium onions

1 cup dry white wine

1 ¼  pounds cod

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 ½ cups finely chopped whole-wheat country bread

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup finely shredded Gruyere, or Swiss cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Thinly slice the onions, dice the bread and the thyme.



NOTE: The directions at Eating Well says to finely chop the bread. Yet the picture of the finished dish seems to have medium sized pieces of bread. I made medium sized pieces. I also just used my fingers to take the thyme leaves off the stem. I did not chop them.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.


Add the wine, increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the wine is slightly reduced, 2 to 4 minutes. Can you see the difference in the liquid in the two pictures below?



Cut the cod into 3 or 4 pieces.


Place the cod on top of the onions and sprinkle with the thyme, and some salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly with foil and transfer to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.



While the fish is in the oven baking, toss the bread cubes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, paprika and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Mix well until the bread is coated with oil and the seasonings.



When the 10 minutes are up spread the bread mixture over the fish and top with the cheese.



Bake, uncovered, until the fish is opaque in the center, about 10 minutes more.


Hot out of the oven. Doesn’t that look scrumptious!?



Serve with a salad and a medley of veggies.


Bon appétit!!!


2 tablespoons olive oil                       $0.48

2 medium onions                              $0.50

1 cup dry white wine                         $1.20

1 ¼  pounds cod                               $20.70

2 teaspoons thyme                            $0.13

1 ½ cups finely  bread                       $0.84

½ teaspoon paprika                           $0.34

½ teaspoon garlic powder                  $0.24

1 cup shred Swiss cheese                   $2.89

Total cost = $26.12
Cost per person 3 = $8.71
Cost per person 4 = $6.53

Quote of the Day

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill


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6 comments to Freedom Is Not Free

  • Is it 4th grade when you have to learn the Gettysburg Address by heart? True freedom is precious and far from free, you’re right.

    Your baked fish casserole looks amazing.

  • Powerful post, honey. These are challenging times. Great recipe too!

    • Roberta

      In many ways ‘challenging times’ does not begin to cover all the issues and problems. All I can hope and pray for is that we – the descendants of the Founding Fathers – are up to the challenges and tasks ahead.

      Glad you like the cod. 🙂

  • As a veteran of a war on a different continent and as a son of parents who both served in the British forces during WW2, you are absolutely correct. We must continue to remember those who gave up their lives, health and freedom in many wars so that we could enjoy our own freedom.

    You are also correct in describing the Age or Authoritarianism. I experienced at first hand what happens when the state decides to take away citizen’s property, freedom and even lives, illegally.

    The Big Brother attitude is even worse up here North of the border. Sadly, for most people, as long as the shops are full of new stuff to buy, the studios keep churning out reality tv and there is enough room on the credit card to pay for it all, the blinkers stay on.

    • Roberta

      BB worse up north? Really???? Did not know that. Here I have always believed (hoped?) I could take refuge north if worse came to worse. *Sigh* Now no where to go. 🙁