Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Letter to the Editor: Echoes of Liberty: A Shared Journey of Freedom and Hope

Wren Johnson

Blood, death, pain, hunger, struggle, yet dreams of freedom, love for the motherland, and courage for one’s kin inspired our forefathers to fight for liberation. Nearly eight years of war, with countless lives sacrificed, paved the way for liberty. 

Today, Lady Liberty stands tall, symbolizing independence not only for Americans but for immigrants worldwide. Students from all corners of the globe arrive with dreams of a bright future. Cherishing these dreams and fueling them with hope, America remains a beacon of promise. 

As members of the Bangladesh Student Association, we join our American friends in celebrating the Fourth of July with great admiration and solidarity. This day, marked by fireworks, parades, and patriotic pride, is more than a commemoration of the United States’ Declaration of Independence in 1776. It is a reminder of the enduring human spirit and the universal quest for freedom, justice, and a brighter future. 

The Fourth of July also reminds us of our own glorious past. We declared our proclamation of independence on April 17, 1971, through the Mujibnagar government, just as the United States did centuries ago. 

In our similarly historic journey, Bangladesh lost nearly three million lives in a brutal nine-month war for independence. We honor those brave souls and the mothers who sacrificed their children for the nation’s call to duty. This sacrifice is sacred and must never be forgotten. 

The Bangladesh Student Association believes that the ideology of freedom resides in the hearts of the people. When Bangladesh fought for its independence, the Nixon administration sided with the Pakistani government. However, the American people did not remain silent. Their support and love were unforgettable. The Concert for Bangladesh, held on August 1, 1971, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, is a notable example. Organized by former Beatles member George Harrison and Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, the concert garnered spontaneous support from the people. It is considered one of the first major charity concerts, setting a precedent for future benefit events like Live Aid. 

Bangladesh remains humble and grateful to the American citizens who supported its people during a critical time. On April 4, 1972, the United States recognized Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. 

The shared history of struggle and sacrifice between our nations teaches us that the pursuit of freedom is a universal aspiration, transcending time and geography. Both Americans and Bangladeshis draw strength from their histories, which provide powerful narratives of resilience and hope. 

The American Dream, an ideal of prosperity and success attainable through hard work and determination, has inspired countless individuals worldwide. It is a testament to the power of dreams and the belief that a better future is within reach, regardless of one’s background. This dream is not confined to America; it resonates globally with all who seek to improve their lives and the lives of others. 

On this day, we want to quote noble laureated Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore: 

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high; 

Where knowledge is free; 

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; 

Where words come out from the depth of truth; 

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; 

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; 

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action; 

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

 The values of liberation remain alive in the minds and hearts of the people. Neither monuments nor constitutions celebrate the courage and light of liberty it is us who enlighten the world.

 It is our duty to spread this light to every corner of the globe. We must stand against all tyrants who force people from their ancestral lands. That land is not far away. We can hear the cries of children under airstrikes; our hearts break when we see innocents die. 

Friends, let us inhale the courage of the Fourth of July and work together to free the world from tyranny, upholding humanity over race, religion, caste, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.

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About the Contributor
Wren Johnson
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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