As we prepare to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the day our nation declared its independence, let us remember how blessed we are to live in the greatest democracy in the history of mankind, but also how precious and fragile are those freedoms. Protecting those rights for ourselves and for future generations is a never-ending struggle for which many have sacrificed.
We must thank our veterans – and their families – who have given up so much to keep our nation free and safe. We must honor the veterans of previous generations by remembering them with gratitude on the 4th of July and honor our contemporary veterans by ensuring they receive the help and support they deserve and have earned by their service to our country.
Our nation has not always lived up to the ideals so powerfully expressed in the Declaration of Independence by our Founding Fathers. But what has made America so remarkable has been that we have aspired to them, fought for them – and about them – and ultimately embraced the belief that all men are created equal, regardless of race, religion, creed, gender, national origin or sexual orientation. Yes, we still fall short sometimes of those ideals but we continue to make progress, and our country remains a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom for so many in the rest of the World.
Let us also consider what sacrifices we are each willing to make as citizens to protect our freedoms and remain vigilant against threats to our nation’s strength and independence.
My wife, Susan, and I wish your family an enjoyable and very Happy 4th of July!