Today I want to commemorate our Independence Day by being mindful of how our independence was achieved. We have so much to be proud of regarding our country and the honorable character of the people who first made it great. Our independence was not won by soldiers alone; it was the combined efforts of the people as a whole. Had everyone been apathetic our country never would have been independent. It takes people who care about issues, fairness, equity, truth, dignity, and integrity to work together for the common good. Our country did not originate from people who were consumed by greed, or were so self-centered that they were unable to understand the effects of law and decisions upon the people as a whole. There was an innate understanding of how everyone is connected and that true success can only be won by everyone working together and appreciating each other’s similarities, but also challenging themselves by respectfully acknowledging differences.
The first Americans understood that money was merely a means to an end, and that there were things in life worth fighting and perhaps even dying for that surpassed money. We have so many people in our history who chose the harder path because it was right and true, though there might have been a quicker or easier way. The people we have always been proud of, as a nation, have stood for their principles and avoided corruption, have put the people first, and have lived with conviction and passion. We are the descendants of those who made our country what it was, and it is by our actions that we ensure the future of our country. We are all capable of moments of greatness, of integrity and dignity. We are able to live with passion, and enjoy our freedoms. We have a right, and even an obligation, to know what is going on with our government and to ensure our continued freedom. We still occupy a great nation full of resources, amazing people, and a collective heart that desires unity and compassion for everyone. One of the greatest testaments of our nation is that we welcome everyone and try to ensure equal opportunities. A nation that fails to recognize and appreciate the sanctity of all human life will soon tear itself apart. Americans as a whole have been generous, compassionate, forgiving and persistent. Americans are not perfect, but the focus is not how we have sometimes fallen, but that we have picked ourselves up and carried on in a better direction because we learned from those mistakes. May we remember exactly where we come from, and put our country’s welfare ahead of our own desires when necessary. May we give back to our country in whatever way we are able, and may we always believe that there are things worth fighting for. May Americans always strive to live with honor, dignity, fairness, justice, courage, and passion so our nation will be living proof of the possibility of peaceful coexistence. As long as we remember the character of our heroes, we will continue to ensure that this remains a great country and one we can all be proud of. I can think of no better way to celebrate our Independence Day than be recognizing the values our nation has held dear, and striving to live with similar noble character. Happy 4th of July to our military, and to all Americans!