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Before I came to the United States,
I learned in history class about the Declaration of Independence.
But these words had no meaning to me.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I was merely memorizing the words to get good grades.
These words sounded so strange, so abstract and foreign to me
until I came to University of Maryland.
I have learned the right to freely express oneself is sacred in America.
Each day at Maryland, I was encouraged to express my opinions on controversial issues.
I could challenge a statement made by my instructor.
My voice matters.
Your voice matters.
Our voices matter.
Civil engagement is not a task just for politicians.
I have witnessed this when I saw my fellow students marching in Washington D.C.,
voting in the presidential election
and raising money to support various causes.
Freedom is oxygen.
Freedom is passion.
Freedom is love.
And as a French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said,
"Freedom is a choice. Our future is dependent on the choices we make today and tomorrow."
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Shuping Yang's University of Maryland speech provokes backlash

4970 Folder Collection
Colleen Jao published on May 24, 2017    Colleen Jao translated    Hsin reviewed
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