Freedom of Speech
The idea of free speech actually goes back to early religions and was well articulated during the European Enlightenment in the 15th century when England’s 1689 Bill of Rights granted “freedom of speech in Parliament.” In 1789, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right stating that: “The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.”
More recently, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, declares that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
We believe that literacy and access to education is also a human right for all and are dedicated to helping bring peace, enlightenment and progress to the world through education one book at a time!
Serving for Freedom
This Fourth of July, we would like to give a shout out to one of our very own for his allegiance and the optimism that he demonstrates both in his capacities as a Better World Books employee as well as a member of the National Guard.
As a key member of our Information Technology Team, Brian Filipek brings so much energy and charisma to the workplace. He is always ready with a joke or story to tell, and he will always put a smile on your face and give you candy while fixing your malfunctioning computer.
Brian’s manager, Kevin O’Neill says, “Brian went into boot camp with the reliability and self discipline most soldiers have to acquire through the process, so I’m not surprised that he thrived in that environment. Thankfully, the Army turned him into an early riser who now starts his shift at 4:00AM to support the UK and part of the third shift in Mishawaka.”
Recently, Brian spent two weeks just outside of Bloomington, Indiana with the National Guard training new employees from the Defense Department how to survive if presented with a dangerous situation while in Afghanistan. He shared quite a few stories with me – from pretending to be Al-Qaeda to teaching how to survive if the vehicle flips – “It’s not as bad as it sounds. They only rolled over like two or three times. Plus, you’re wearing Kevlar. The worst that happens is someone’s boot might end up in your face. My vehicle landed on its top. And they make it so that only one of the doors open. It wasn’t my door, I had to crawl over to the front of the other side. Plus, jumping out of a helicopter from 500 feet is just cool!” he says.
We can never thank Brian, nor any of the brave individuals who make up our troops, enough for their hard work. This Fourth of July, we would just like to say, “Your integrity and positive attitude are truly inspiring, Brian!”
I was deployed after September 11, 2001 when the US was attacked on our homeland. I was a military police officer in the United States Army Reserves with the 305th Military Police Company in Wheeling, West Virginia. We were deployed to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia to guard and to provide Garrison Duties to that Post. I was a Sergeant and completed a year of service in Georgia. We returned home for two months and were Redeployed to Balad Iraq to provide Convoy Security, Security and other Critical Missions to ensure the safety and operation of the combat Theater. I was a Team Leader with a team of soldiers under me and helped guide them and lead them throughout all of our assigned missions. I left my military service with several Army Medals and Commendations and now happily serve America and the world through bringing literacy through Better World Books!
Megan and her team in uniform
We’d love to hear from you! What are you doing to celebrate freedom this weekend?