Independence Day is my favorite holiday of the year. Does that make me weird? Probably. Let’s add it to the list of things that do.
In the meantime, let me share with you why I get so excited when July finally rolls around in hopes it gives you a reason to celebrate with me today and in future years.
We live in a great nation. I’m going to say that in this piece repeatedly and hope that your story, your personal experience comes to mind as I share a part of mine and that you are able to look past the drama of the day that reigns politics and see that our nation is stronger than our weakest parts.
Our founders created a government so sound that no one person, administration, or Congress can cripple us. Yes, we can be weakened but never enough that our foundation can’t survive. The true power wasn’t given to a ruling class instead “we the people” can and have brought about the kind of change that balances the scales or rights the wrongs that have can or been done.
American exceptionalism is real. Yes, we can always do better but we are a blessed nation that is different from others. Ours is a nation with a purpose and role in leading the world. With our exceptionalism comes great responsibly that goes far beyond the call of what our government must do but rather rests on what we as people must do to make the world a better place. It is not our government that will lead the way in scientific discoveries, space exploration, the arts, or philanthropy as time goes on it is our people.
I’ve heard those who question if we really are the melting pot we once were? With polarizing elections and news coverage that would have you believe we are on the brink of a civil war, I’d say we are only as strong as our weakest moments.
You must look no further than during the times of national tragedy to see how the divisions of differences melt away when our neighbors are hurt. From natural disasters, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and droughts to terrorism in New York, California, Boston or Orlando to senseless violence in North Carolina and elsewhere we join together to pray, donate money, give blood, give time and lend support to one another in any way we can. In times of need, we are one nation under God indivisible.
When it matters, we come together blind of our differences aware of one thing we are the United States of America.
Some would have you believe the American dream is no more. I don’t believe that. I haven’t lived that. On the contrary, I am proof that’s not true. What is the American dream? I believe it’s unique for each of us though the underlying principle is that we can all live a better life.
We can all challenge ourselves to do better and to be better and we can achieve success. Is it a higher education, homeownership, success in business, maybe? Maybe it’s just that we live in a place where the possibilities are endless for each person.
It’s not easy to accomplish great things, but we’ve never had a promise that it would be easy just a promise that we could pursue more that we could do better for ourselves and our loved ones. That’s what makes our nation great; that I could be born the daughter of a teenage mother, live in poverty, work hard, define what would be success for myself and accomplish it not on my own but with the support of many who are part of the fabric that makes our nation stronger.
Today, as we celebrate our freedom and our independence, we can’t look past those who fought for it and those who serve to protect it.
The men and women of our military are to strongly be commended and treasured for the sacrifices they give. While as a nation we may find our people split from time to time on the actions our leaders call upon our military to take, I count it among our greatest treasures that regardless of political affiliations we respect those who wear the uniform and are willing to pay the ultimate costs.
Division sells papers. Strife stokes the flames of partisan gridlock. We the people make our country it’s best by doing our best. We by the day-to-day interactions within our communities create the fabric of a nation that gets stronger with time.
Regardless of your politics, I’d hope you would agree with me that our nation’s birth gives great cause to celebrate. The time it takes any one of us to live our lives is but a small piece of history for our nation. The American dream lives on and will. The greatness of our country will endure.
I have all the confidence in the world that great things are ahead of our nation, and on this our Independence Day I hope you can look around to the people, their dreams and hopes and see that greatness is our destiny for the United States of America was established for more than any before or after it.
On this day, turn a deaf ear to the negativity and focus on the positive; our rights and freedoms, our soldiers and leaders our people and our hope.
God Bless America. Happy Independence Day.