Freedom requires vigilance

Versailles News
By Kathy Monnin

Over the last couple of years so many social issues have been stirred up. We hear much about slavery which officially ended in the United States on Dec. 6, 1865, with the passing of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. No matter which side of the slavery issue people were on prior to 1865, it was not illegal or a crime. Immoral yes, but not illegal until after the Civil War was fought. We should look at the long, hard struggle to obtain freedom as a victory. Yes, slaves suffered injustice but just as a parent wants better for their children, these slaves prior to 1865 would be pleased, and even proud to know that today their ancestors enjoy the same liberty as any other legal citizen of the United States of America.

Dwelling in the past does not allow one to live in the present nor look to the future. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery.” Perhaps we can accept the history of our nation realizing it is as imperfect as the people who are in government. Imperfect but, hopefully always working towards improvement. Then perhaps we can focus on our present-day problems which is slavery.

Yes, slavery continues today, illegal, as well as immoral and it should be addressed. However, today’s slavery is not exclusively of skin color or nationality nor are the slaves used for working the plantations. Today’s slavery is that of human trafficking. It is the sex slavery trade, and it is becoming worse with the immigrants entering the United States. Migrants are particularly vulnerable.

It is estimated that millions of domestic and international victims are enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money. These victims are mostly females and children who are sold to traffickers, locked up in rooms for weeks or months. They are drugged, terrorized, and raped repeatedly making it easy for traffickers to control them. The victimized become afraid to escape or speak out against the abusers. Human sex trafficking and sex slavery happens throughout the United States, in every state, in both large cities and small towns, sometimes right in someone’s backyard. It is the fastest-growing business in the world of organized crime, ranking third.

How can this happen today? Are we not more civilized in the 21st century? Educated, refined, sophisticated, humane, enlightened. Where is the public outcry?

Possibly we are not as cultured as we consider ourselves to be. Throughout the history of the United States there had always been a foundational relationship of marriage and family. Over the past 50 years there has been a steady increase in the number of children growing up in broken homes, which has had quite an impact on the wellbeing of children, and on the welfare of both the states and the nation. Most American mothers and fathers no longer value marriage or their parental responsibilities enough to raise together the children they brought into existence. Among specific racial and ethnic groups, the highest rates for intact families are found among Asians (65.8 percent), while the lowest rates are found among blacks (16.7 percent).

Many of the children for sex slavery come from broken homes, either as run-aways, abductions, or lured away by offers of a better life. It seems we are not doing enough to protect our vulnerable youth. So again, I ask, where is the public outcry? Could the battle be too difficult? Would we have to become morally responsible persons to protect our children from the ills of immorality? Might we have to speak up and step up in defense of the defenseless?

Slavery is what slavery’s always been: About one person controlling another person using violence and then exploiting them economically, paying them nothing. That’s what slavery’s about.” ~Kevin Bales

“People-trafficking is modern day slavery. There are more slaves today than there were at the height of the slave trade.” ~Ross Kemp

“Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life.” ~Albert Einstein

“Because we are free, we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere.” ~Jimmy Carter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, Oct. 22, 5 to 7 p.m. the Ansonia American Legion is serving Jen’s burritos. Eat in or carry out.

Friday, Oct. 22, Versailles plays at home against Minster. After the game is the Friends of Hole Field’s 15th Annual Ball Drop with a $10,000 cash prize. Balls can be purchased for $20 during the game and the ball landing in or closest to the target wins. It’s possible for the pot to be split with multiple winners.

Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8 p.m. to midnight the Ansonia American Legion hosts a Halloween Party with the band “Counting Skeletons.”

Sunday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the St. Denis K of C has a carryout pork loin dinner with au gratin potatoes, green beans, a dinner roll, and apple crisp dessert for $8. Tickets are required, Order yours by calling Paul Borchers at 937-417-0779 or Nick Borchers at 937-726-6762. Proceeds benefit Darke County Right to Life.

Monday, Oct. 25, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. is a Memory Lane Dance held at the Greenville VFW. Open to the public, with music by Tom Everhart. Admission is $5 at the door.

Thursday, Oct. 28, beginning at 5 p.m. the Ansonia Volunteer Fire Department is holding its 48th annual Chili Supper. Eat in or carry out. There will also be a Halloween Parade starting a 7 p.m. Lineup at 6. Prizes for best costumes.

Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at 8 p.m. Versailles Vets Club hosts a Halloween Costume/Dance Party in the Bunker (downstairs).

Sunday, Oct. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the Versailles Eagles Auxiliary is holding its breakfast buffet. This is open to the public and first responders will eat free. Also, children dressed for Halloween under the age of ten accompanied with a paid adult will eat free.

Sunday, Oct. 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. Versailles will observe Halloween Trick or Treat. Also beginning at 1 p.m. the St. Denis K of C will be hosting a youth Halloween party with prizes awarded for costumes in various age groups and categories. Categories are Religious; Original; Scariest; Prettiest. Everyone is invited and goodie bags will be provided to all participants.

Tuesday, Nov. 2, Versailles’ holds an election to fill four village council positions with five men running. All have village knowledge and/or experience. The candidates are Ralph Gigandet, Jr., Cory Griesdorn, Randy Gump, Kent Paulus, and Lance Steinbrunner.

Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. a Veterans Dinner will be served at the VHS Cafetorium. RSVP 937-526-4427 asap.

Happy birthday wishes to Jeanine Davidson, Joan Gehret, Catherine Grow, Diana Subler, Shelly Flory, Scott Toller, Connie McEldowney, Glenn Monnin, Ginger Brubaker, Tom Donnelly, Rod Boring, Jacquelin Macias, Jenny Monnin Shields, Deb Ward, Cindy Scott, Russell Case, Cheryl Fine, Kaylin Richard, Eric Behlke, Nicci Keiser, Carolyn Smith, Kathy Hoelscher, Mariah Poeppelman, Shyann McKenna, Kay Dapore, Megan Subler, Pat Crowell, Karen Burt, Sharon Monnin, Hillary Holzapfel, Jordan Lewis, Ericka Berman, Eli Cornett, Carley Holzapfel, Max Holzapple, and Dan Lawrence as their birthdays approach as well as, anniversary wishes to Kevin and Michele Henninger (12), Susan and Mark Voisard (16), Emily and Rick Clark (17), Ashlee & John Rogers (18), Penny and Chad Treon (19), Tara and Dan George (20), Carly and Josh Bolin (26), Lori and Doug Davidson (28), Sol and Joe Bulcher (29), Vicki and Ed Ruhe (32), Angie and Matt Arnold (36), Reyna and Jerry Shardo (39), Karen and John Shardo (41), Joann and Larry Wagner (43), and all those couples celebrating anniversaries but not named.

Please extend your heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Jared Grillot (25), Angela Grieshop (79), Leon Ruhenkamp (79), Howard Rehmert (84), and all those who have passed and those who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the sick, caregivers, all those who have lost loved ones and all who are struggling.

As an act of kindness, forgive. Harboring resentment hurts us. Forgiveness does not come easy, but it gives people second chances while benefiting us and giving us the power to transform us.

Kathy Monnin is a volunteer citizen columnist. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 423-0914. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.