I’ve always believed there is more that unites us as Americans than divides us, and this truth is never more evident than on Independence Day. Across the country – irrespective of our myriad differences – we embrace the sentiment Benjamin Franklin captured when saying, “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” From our humble beginnings, highs and lows as a nation, to where we are today, freedom and opportunity have always guided our path and served as our defining traits. That is what we boldly celebrate on Independence Day.
As Americans, we treasure and defend our freedom; we stand alongside those around the world who love liberty; and yes, we celebrate the independence that is responsible for the greatest experiment in self-governance the world has ever known. So we remember a declaration that set in motion a remarkable journey. We pay tribute to the inspired vision of our Founders, and we pause to take stock of the amazing gift of liberty. We celebrate, but take nothing for granted – remembering the words of Ronald Reagan when he observed that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” We look back, but we also set our eyes on what’s to come. While it is America’s birthday, we’re young with much more to accomplish, and I’m quite certain our best days are still ahead.
My optimism is a result of having the great privilege time and again to come face to face with the character of America. I see it in the way we take care of each other in our own community. I’ve heard it from the remarkably talented and intelligent young people that continue to impress me almost daily. And I have unequivocally felt it in the selfless service of our men and women in uniform. We’re marked by an amazing diversity and a simultaneous unity around our principles – a notion that by the sweat of our brows and the power of our ideas, tomorrow will be better than today. Independence by its very nature requires more from each of us than the alternative. The American spirit embraces this reality, and leverages it through the relentless hard work that built our nation. From our earliest days, the American people have taken the often rough and rocky road to freedom rather than the path of least resistance – and even in the most difficult of times – we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m humbled by what Independence Day represents, and I look forward to it every year because it stirs the best in us as Americans. There is no challenge facing America that cannot be overcome by the American people, and I’m grateful for everything you do to make that a reality. I hope it was a wonderful weekend and special celebration day for you and your family.
Member of Congress
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