The Historic Midland Cemetery

Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom, Opportunity, and Hope

No person alive today, heard the Emancipation Proclamation spoken from President Lincoln’s mouth or felt the feeling of freedom and hope that the slaves felt in 1863, but I feel as if I can at least imagine a feeling very close to how the slaves felt in that time period. I was born in China and lived in an orphanage for the young months of my life. China does not have many freedoms for its citizens - let alone its female and orphaned citizens.

When I was older, I was adopted and brought into the United States. Coming to the United States meant freedom, opportunity and hope. The slaves had very little freedom, and becoming freed in that time period meant the same to the slaves as it meant for me to come to America. The Emancipation Proclamation means freedom, opportunity, and hope.

The Emancipation Proclamation grants freedom, and freedom leads to opportunity. As a result of the Emancipation Proclamation, (and other factors such as the Union winning the Civil War, the 13th amendment and other contributing factors) no person in the United States is allowed to hold slaves and therefore everyone is free. People are free to pursue the career that they wish. They are allowed to choose what kind of life they live out. I take advantage of a multitude of opportunities that the United States offers such as sports, a top of the line education, and a job of my choice. Every day I am thankful for the liberties and opportunities that United States’ citizens are granted, and thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation all people are able to experience the wonderful opportunities that the United States offers. The Emancipation Proclamation is freedom and opportunity.

In addition to freedom and opportunity, the Emancipation Proclamation means hope. It gives me hope that throughout time the world will find the right thing to do. The Emancipation Proclamation encourages me to believe that eventually all evil will be demolished. Ralph Emerson claims that “Slavery is no scholar, no improver; … it does not improve the soil; everything goes to decay”. Slavery is not fair, good, or right in any way. In a letter, Abraham Lincoln says that “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong”. It took over 200 years to abolish slavery in the land that is now known as the United States, but thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation the evil was rid. The Emancipation Proclamation gives me hope that eventually time and willful people like the abolitionists, union soldiers, and Abraham Lincoln, will rot away all evil.

The Emancipation Proclamation to me means freedom and opportunity in life to all, and hope for a future free of evil. Emily Burke (c)2013