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Judge Jay Karahan Discusses Freedom and Why he's a Proud American with Aubrey AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What does freedom mean to you? JUDGE JAY KARAHAN: Freedom to me means the freedom to think for myself, to act upon those thoughts in a responsible way, to modify my thoughts with education, and the freedom to enjoy my "unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness." AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? JUDGE JAY KARAHAN: I am proud to be an American because, as a first generation American, I observed first-hand my immigrant father's struggle to seek and achieve the American Dream. To this day I marvel at my father's pride in his naturalized American citizenship. I marvel at his lifelong commitment to self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. I marvel at his patience in waiting for a visa to enter the U.S. to seek a better life for himself and to eventually become a responsible citizen. The U.S. gave my father the freedom to work as many jobs and as hard as he could or wanted to accumulate the knowledge and capital to start his own business. His enthusiastic patriotism despite the ignorance and bigotry he encountered along the way made him the successful man I'm so proud of. His sacrifices, hard work and enthusiasm - and that of all like him since the founding of our great nation - gave me the freedom to enjoy the blessings of life in the U.S. It is my responsibility now to honor that and to pay it forward.

Kim Bohannon Hoesl Discusses Freedom and Why She's a Proud American with Aubrey AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What does freedom mean to you? KIM BOHANNON HOESL: On first reading this question, I heard Janis Joplin singing, "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose." (“Me and Bobby McGee”). But that is not what I believe. My parents were both raised in segregated America, but they worked hard to overcome that history and to raise their children to view all people as equally entitled to pursue their dreams. They taught me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, even a pilot or a physicist, and that I did not have to be limited by my gender. Freedom, therefore, is not having nothing to lose, but having everything to gain. Freedom is being limited only by me, and not by the arbitrary or unfair restrictions of society, or religion, or government. That was the freedom our founding fathers sought and achieved here: the freedom to seek, and control, my own destiny, limited only by my own desires, beliefs, and conscience. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? KIM BOHANNON HOESL: There are so many reasons to be proud of my country, but the most important reason to me is the strength of what this country represents. My country, for all its

problems and its internal conflicts, stands alone in the world’s history as the largest, most successful democracy ever. And that is no small feat. When you consider how small the original 13 colonies were geographically and how uniform in citizenry, and then compare that to the America of today with its expanse of geography and diversity, it is nothing short of amazing. From sea to shining sea, this country embraces an incredible diversity of landscapes, of climates, of economies, of cultural histories, of racial and ethnic variety. We have deserts and tropics, farmlands and dense urban cityscapes. We have ethnicities from around the globe. And yet, the vision of those original founding fathers has carried through this tremendous growth and transformation of our country, and our democracy continues to work today. What other land can lay claim to living through such extraordinary change and upheaval as the past 238 years has involved, and yet still maintain the freedom and the democratic process we began with? -- Only here, only in America. My country’s complete faith in its people, and in the democratic process, has survived what has destroyed many other nations. And I am exceedingly proud that my country continues to represent the best in democracy today. I recently found myself explaining the significance of the Fourth of July to my 4-year old son. He is not quite able to grasp the concept of revolution and freedom. But he understands birthdays, and celebrations. As he grows, my husband and I have the humbling opportunity to teach him the values we hold dear as American citizens, and to watch the same love of country develop in him as we hold within ourselves.

Diane Peirson Discusses Freedom and Why She's a Proud American with Aubrey AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What does freedom mean to you? DIANE PEIRSON: To me, freedom is all about choice. We can choose to succeed or to fail, choose to support government or to oppose it. We can choose to fight against bad laws, or fight for good laws. We can work in our communities to better them, or we can raise a voice in dissent. These things are what make this country great.

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ONE AMERICA "Leaders Celebrating Freedom Together Series" in Houston Business Connections Magazine  

Our ONE AMERICA "Leaders Celebrating Freedom Together" series is currently underway inside Houston Business Connections Magazine, published...

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