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Let freedom ring

Written by James Combs

Lake Countians sound off on their definition of freedom.

It’s understandable if people in other countries long for the freedoms that Americans enjoy.

The freedom to enjoy an epic adventure.

The freedom to practice the religion of our choice.

The freedom to discover and pursue our life’s passion.

And, as Americans, we can do all of these things without holding back in fear of shame or persecution. Obviously, freedom means different things to different people.

Healthy Living asked residents throughout Lake County what freedom means to them.

“Freedom is practicing your own faith, saying what you want, and doing what you want within the boundaries of the law. I served in the United States Marine Corps, so to me, the freedom we enjoy here makes the U.S. the best country in the world.”

—Gary Hagen, Leesburg

“To me, freedom means less government. Government should be in charge of security and defense and that’s it. I don’t want government involved in my life in any other way.”

—Cheryl Kluesener, Eustis

“Freedom is something that hundreds of thousands of people have died for. As a result, we have freedom of speech, the freedom to vote, the freedom to celebrate whatever holidays we choose, and the freedom of being our own individuals.”

—Jerry Galbreath, Leesburg

“What’s freedom to me? I have freedom to own my own business. I have freedom to make a positive impact in the community. I have freedom to make my own choices and freedom to be the best person I can be.”

—Amy Colangelo, Umatilla

“Simply put, freedom is having the ability to do as I please. That, in a nutshell, is what freedom means to me.”

—Jim Borden, Leesburg

“There are many different kinds of freedoms, but the one that I enjoy most is financial freedom. I appreciate being able to pay my bills and having enough money left over to create memories with friends and family.”

—Cassandra Daniel, Mount Dora

“It’s being able to do whatever we want and be who we really are. I couldn’t imagine living any other way.”

—Daniel Jones, Leesburg

“Freedom is being able to pray to the God I choose to pray to. Freedom is living in a home with people I choose to be with. Freedom is working and playing in the environment I choose to be in.”

—Dina Simpson, Leesburg

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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