“It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”—John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790. (Speeches. Dublin, 1808.)
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777
“Maybe I did well and maybe I led the battle but nobody ever said we were going to win this thing at any point in time. Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it”–Milton Friedman
gainst us are… all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty… We are likely to preserve the liberty we have obtained only by unremitting labors and perils.” –Thomas Jefferson to Philip Mazzei, 1796. ME 9:336
“It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which no good man will consent to lose but with his life.” — The Declaration of Arbroath, a reply to the Papal Bulls excommunicating Robert Bruce for recapturing Berwick, as sent to Pope John XXII on behalf of the community of the realm of Scotland, 1320 A.D.
In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all — security, comfort, and freedom. When … the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.” — Sir Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
“A people may prefer a free government, but if, from indolence, or carelessness, or cowardice, or want of public spirit, they are unequal to the exertions necessary for preserving it; if they will not fight for it when it is directly attacked; if they can be deluded by the artifices used to cheat them out of it; if by momentary discouragement, or temporary panic, or a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet even of a great man, or trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions; in all these cases they are more or less unfit for liberty: and though it may be for their good to have had it even for a short time, they are unlikely long to enjoy it.” — John Stuart Mill, Representative Government, 1861
…The list of quotes goes on and on, but I hope the point is made. We must not lose what so many generations have fought and died for. The work we must continue from generation to generation is hard and unceasing. We all need reminding again and again– LIBERTY is hard work!
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
— Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator, in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, according to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans