As my family and I get ready to celebrate Independence Day, I cannot help but reflect, and be thankful to our men and women in uniform who fought for, and continue to fight for, our independence and freedoms both at home and abroad. While the 4th of July is a day where we join together to celebrate this country we love so much, it disturbs me that we have witnessed the reemergence of an ideology that attempts to cast those who may not think the same way as somehow being “unpatriotic.”
For 241 years, Americans have demonstrated their passion for living in a country founded on protecting “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” by celebrating Independence Day. This tradition is a celebration of the actions our founding fathers took when they declared that our new nation would be independent from the tyrannical crown of England. Since then, the United States has overcome periods of adversity and made remarkable contributions to the rest of world, all in an effort to preserve our way of life.
On the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge shared the significance of Independence Day. In his speech he stated, “It is not so much, then, for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound.”
Ninety one years later, Coolidge’s timeless quote continues to serve as a reminder that since our founding, our nation has remained committed to its core principles. While technological and societal advances continue to push the boundaries of our achievements, the one thing that remains unaltered is our nation’s commitment to uphold the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
As we share this holiday with our friends and families, it is important to also remember the ones who have made sacrifices for our freedom. Just as our founding fathers relied on citizens to draw arms against the British forces in order to win our independence, we ask men and women to engage in selfless service to this country.
As terrorist groups continue to perpetrate evil acts around the world, many uniformed service-members are deployed overseas and are unable to be with their loved ones right now. It is because of these brave men and women that we are able to celebrate Independence Day out of harm’s way.
I am thankful every day to have the privilege of living in the United States. From my family to yours: Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!