Wishing everyone a very happy 4th of July. As we celebrate this day of independence, we find ourselves in a very different country than we have ever experienced in the past. No matter what your political affiliation is, it is important to remember that we are not the Republican States of America, the Democrat States of America or even the Independent States of America, we are the United States of America.
From the early days of the revolution to gain our independence, we have always been a nation of forward thinking people striving to make the country a little better for the next generation. Wars, elections, unthinkable events, causes and issues have separated us for periods of time. However, at the end of the day the American spirit always prevails and we always come back from that period of time stronger and more determined to create a new day.
Our forefathers had the insight to create a country that was “one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all”. Countless women and men (including myself) have fought to maintain that liberty, justice and freedom. We did it because we believe in an America where everyone can be free to be who they are, live the life that makes them happy and work to make a better world for those that come after us.
Today we will celebrate in different ways. There will be picnics, BBQ’s, fireworks, song and fun. For a moment in time we will be what was always intended, a free people coming together to celebrate a common purpose. For 242 years it has been that way. IF we could somehow capture the spirit of those celebrations and carry it forward into every day going forward, we would be on our way to being a united people again.
Discourse and disagreement are good. They are what brings about change, new ideas and new ways of living that benefit all. For it to be effective it has to happen with a level of civility, respect and common decency as we navigate the uncomfortable maze of change that surrounds us. Building each other up and upholding the very principles that this country was founded on makes us all a stronger people, inhabiting a stronger nation.
While we find ourselves today in one of the most unique periods we have ever experienced on a Fourth of July, we have to remember that this too shall pass. For this day and every day, hug your family member, friend and neighbor. Eliminate the labels and come together as a common people to celebrate the independence that was so bravely fought for. Eat a little (or a lot), laugh a little, cry a little and celebrate the fact that no matter what we face, may we always choose to be a country of the people, for the people and by the people. We deserve that.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason everyone smiles.