"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
May we never forget.
 -- Anonymous, Palo Alto, CA     
    ... from both threats without... and within... and most importantly, from those who are "from the government and are here to help".
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Gotta love Jefferson! What a seemingly mundane yet powerful thought.
     -- Chris, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Especially today circa 2000's
     -- Don A. , Visalia, CA     
    That this quote was important to the founding fathers and to thinking people in late generations is undeniable. At various times I have seen precisely these words and some similar variation attributed to Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, General Douglas MacArthur, HL Mencken, Albert Nock, and others whose names escape me at the moment. In these times we would be wise to remember it. But I still wonder who thought of it first ... My money is on Tom Paine
     -- TheMANwithNoName, Tampa, FL USA     
     -- Anonymous      
    He never said it. "Nor, for that matter, did it appear in the writings of any other famous American." -- in "They Never Said It" by Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, Oxford University Press, 1989.
     -- RobertFB, Everywhere, USA     
    Well RobertFB...If he said it or not, I'll say we need to keep an eye on these corrupt bastards. And throw them in jail when they are caught doing back room deals and receiving bribes. End the Fed, Restore the Republic.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Not playing the ad hominem game, a sentiment for the ages, the statement gets 5 stars.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Who says he never said it, does anyone propose to know everything that Jefferson ever said. It's abundently true whoever said it.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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     -- KIMO, USA      
    Yes! Yes! Yes! And, unfortunately we Americans are now asleep. Our freedom is lost in many ways. Merry CHRISTmas.
     -- bruski, Naples     
    This is one of the most memorable quotations of the man.
    In what I feel like the past decade, WE ( the we of US, the U.S. ) have not consistently and thoroughly paid that price.
    ETERNAL VIGILANCE guarding our FREEDOM ? I think not.
    But I ( and we and us ) CAN CHANGE. Let us pledge to unwrap that God-given gift left under our metaphorical tree in Jefferson's tumultuous days while being grateful for another God-given gift, the birth of Jesus. FREEDOM and RELIGION co-exist nicely for both believers and non-believers.
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
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    Popularly attributed to Jefferson, but this quote can be found written/spoken by others in similar forms.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Wisdom is known of HER children. Bobble, never ceases to amaze me. An Agrarian ( believer ) through and through. Some types of Trees are not metaphorical. Planted before time began. I see men as trees walking, said the blind man ! Many trees, not all mentioned. But all types, are, always represented ! Merry Christmas.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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