The torch of freedom

A statue of John Paul Jones stands in West Potomac Park, Washington DC, April 2005

A statue of John Paul Jones stands in West Potomac Park, Washington D.C., April 2005

“The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free.” — John Paul Jones

Many of us associate John Paul Jones with his legendary words “Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight!”  While there is some debate as to whether these were his exact words, no historian questions the desperate circumstances under which he refused to give up.  Those brave and defiant words are engraved on the monument pictured above, the first memorial raised in Potomac Park, Washington D.C., in honor of the first American naval hero.

More than five years of grueling war followed the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  The spirit exemplified by John Paul Jones and others enabled the colonies to press on through times of misery and despair, never losing hope in their dreams of freedom and a new form of government.

The Fourth of July is a happy time for most U. S. citizens, partly because it’s associated with picnics, fireworks and summertime fun.  But it’s also a great time to remember that courage, determination and tenacity can lead underdogs to unprecedented victories.

Freedom is a fragile and demanding legacy.  For all people everywhere, it demands conviction and courage to sustain freedom in the face of opposition and oppression.  As the USA celebrates its 237th birthday, I wish you a weekend of reflection on the great achievements of those who stood firm through fierce adversity.  May we all be inspired to do likewise!


  1. Very inspiring. Nice job. Hope you are having an uneventful weekend. Love you.

    • Thanks Amy. It’s been fairly quiet, but I’ve kept busy with lots of tasks to distract me from missing Pasha. I’m happy Jeff and Matt are both home with me right now, recuperating from their surgeries, so at least I’m not as lonely as we get used to being without him. Hope you have a great holiday weekend.

  2. Sheila

    Julia, I’m so sorry that you are hurting so deeply but I’m sure it’s because you loved Pasha so much. I was able to recover from Salty being gone through kind words from family, friends and patients (he went to our office everyday), taking walks and with time. I use his water bowl now for my birds that come to our deck for a drink. I hope you can “repurpose” some of Pasha’s things that might bring you pleasure. When I learned that sweet Pasha was gone, I cried for you, because I knew you were going to hurt so badly. When you have a sad thought try to replace it with two happy, funny memories. Pasha was special and so loved, always will be! Love, Sheila

    • Thank you Sheila, I think you have some good ideas there. When I remember something sad I try to think of several funny and happy things. Each day gets a little bit better and it’s good that this difficult time came when Jeff and Matt are home with me recovering from surgery. By the time they go back to their jobs I will be accustomed to being without Pasha. I think it is so cool that Salty went to see your patients! I love the therapy dogs at Walter Reed. I appreciate your understanding and friendship!

  3. merry

    Julia, I’m so sorry about the lost of your beloved pet, Pasha. Glad that Jeff and Matt is home with you. and that they’re recovering from their surgeries.
    Thanks for the picture and comments about John Paul Jones and our fight for freedom.

    • Thanks for being here, Merry, and for your kind thoughts. Jeff, Matt and I are glad to be together more than we usually are, during these first few weeks of adjusting to Pasha’s death. He was such a big part of our lives for so long. We feel very grateful we had him with us for 16 years. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!


  1. This realm of freedom | Defeat Despair

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