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I love, I laugh; as a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sibling, a friend. I change. I volunteer. I make a difference. I make things happen. I get lazy; then way to high strung. I stay up all night, and pay the next day. I piss people off. I make people love. I believe in fate. and karma. I laugh at myself. I've even been called an "angel"... more than once. I've been rocked to my core by angels among us. I am a journalist for our small town newspapers, including the Muskego Chronicle, the Hales Corners Citizen, and the Franklin Citizen; I love writing for our chicken-soup-for-the-small-town-soul publications! I am right where I want to be. I am 34, and proud of my age (every birthday is another gift); the greatest thing I have done is contribute the beauty that my clone-like daughter Sophia has to offer. She is my legacy. I am a total mama’s girl; always have been, always will be. I have a Black-Irish bond (unbreakable) with my siblings. I am comfortable in my own skin. I have never been insecure, not once. I love people; but prefer kids to adults. I am not the least bit judgmental; but can hold a grudge to my grave. I follow my heart more than my head. Intentionally.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Sound Of Freedom On The 4th

Muskego 53150
Editorial by Noelle Lorraine

The Sound Of Freedom

“I don’t want to die for you, but if dieing asking me, I’d bear that cross with honor, because freedom don’t come free”
-Toby Keith

These are lyrics in the song “American soldier”, which is one of many patriotic songs recorded by the country music singer, so naturally, the voice of Toby Keith was as loud, proud and as present as the fireworks and the flag, over the holiday weekend. Personally, the prideful lyrics moved me several times in one day. It was the day before Independence Day, which has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I did a story that honored Muskego military for Memorial Day. I have always been an avid supporter of the troops, even sending care packages over seas through my daughters school, but until I heard, first hand, the voices of our “American soldiers”, and their families, I believe I was a bit unaware of the effects and the emotions, but moreover, the loyalty and the pride they regard for our country our freedom. It is a day to honor our independence, and those that have paid the price for us, because like the lyrics of the song say, freedom is not free. So it comes as no surprise that as I drive down the road the morning of July 3rd, my heart was heavy, yet bursting with patriotic pride all at once, as the words of “American soldier” came through my speaker. Later that day, I was on assignment at a very, very crowded Idle Isle park, to cover the festivities for the Muskego Chronicle. First was a water ski show on Big Muskego lake, where the Waterbugs put on a very impressive show, then fireworks was to follow. The record crowds were kept well informed as to the ETA of the fireworks, by the announcer that occasionally interrupted the music. There were vendors and concessions, in addition to a mini festival of sorts to keep the kids, which accounted for a large number of the crowd, busy until the show started. With all the children running about in pairs, I wondered if Muskego was one of the last safe communities left, because it is a rare occasion that parents are at ease in this manner, even I, let my own 10 year old daughter separate with a friend, knowing she was in a place where we watch out for one another. So I am not only a proud American, but I am also proud to have ties to such a great city. Clearly, I am not the only one, because as night fell and the kids found their families to watch the fireworks, the park was full, literally. Just preceding the first eruption, the music stopped, and so did most of the chatter, as the announcer reminded us what and who this celebration is meant to honor. He delivered a respectful speech that got the attention of those in attendance, the crowd seemed grateful and humbled. Then the celebration started with a blast from a barge on the lake, set perfectly to a soundtrack with songs of freedom. As the grand finale lit the sky and the faces of Muskego, I heard something that gave me chills, and it wasn’t a firework. Set perfectly to the first sparkle of the finale was ironically, yet so perfectly appropriate, none other than Toby Keith’s “American soldier”. At that moment, I thought of something said by American patriot, Patrick Henry, in an historic speech; “Give me liberty, or give me death”. I thought for this occasion, there is a more appropriate rendition to Mr. Henry’s quote, “Give me liberty, or”… take me to Muskego. It was a neat place to be, with plenty of neat people, and it was safe and certainly patriotic. With the upcoming presidential election, military, war and freedom are political hot buttons that we will hear a lot about, and during this time, no matter what side of the political fence you choose to stand on, I just hope that you paint it red, white and blue, whether hypothetically or literally, because freedom is not free.

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