On this Independence Day weekend our thoughts flow toward the freedoms we often enjoy without adequate awareness or gratitude. Regardless of ideological differences, the celebration of our basic human liberties should compel us all.

Atop the ornate U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a bronze statue sculpted by Thomas Crawford and given the name “Statue of Freedom.” The female figure — though not seen up close — is wrapped in draperies and symbolism of American freedoms.

While it looks small against the sky, the Statue of Freedom is 19 feet 6 inches tall. I once overhead a tour guide telling a group of visitors that it is the tallest statue in the District.

“But what about Abraham Lincoln?” someone asked.

The imposing figure that visitors see up close at the Lincoln Memorial is but 19 feet tall — as long as old Abe stays seated.

In Washington, as in our daily lives, nothing stands taller than Freedom.

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