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Rye Woman Reflects On Freedom

RYE, N.Y. -- Mary Anne Massey doesn't have big plans for the Fourth of July, but the national holiday does hold some significance for her.

"I was just thinking about how lucky I am to be sitting here right now," said Massey, sitting on a bench next to the Village Green after a bike ride. "I don't have to worry about getting blown up like [people] in Afghanistan or some other places in the world."

Coming of age during the '60s and '70s, Massey was acutely aware of the consequences of war. Like many in her generation, the Vietnam War catalyzed her to think more critically about the price of freedom in America.

"If you think about all the people that have died for this country -- they sacrificed a lot," said Massey.

When Massey contemplates her freedoms as an American, she said she also thinks of women and the history of their struggle for equality.

"For my parents' generation, there were not many fields open to women," she said. "Basically you became a mom, a nurse or a teacher."

Massey, now retired, worked as an human relations executive for many different companies. She was in a field dominated by men, but said she always felt comfortable competing.

On Monday, as grills are fired up and flags are proudly displayed, Massey said she'll enjoy her freedom. She plans to probably ride her bike and spend a quiet day at home with her husband, working on her novel while he reads.

"I'm not a flag-waving patriot," said Massey. "But I believe in my country and its values."

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