Today we celebrate the July 4th, 1776 birth of a nation – the 241st birthday of the United States.
Every year we celebrate the independence of this nation from all other nations and peoples. And because there are so many of us who are all so very different, we tend to celebrate the independence of this nation, and our individual autonomy, in many different ways including with food, fireworks, friends, family, heritage, outdoor recreation, sports and the arts.
Independence Day is also a time for us to remember those who came before us, those who paved the way for our today, as well as and in particular, those who paid the ultimate price giving their lives for this country. People who chose to do what was necessary at the time so that generations of people would benefit well into the future.
There is good reason for some historical figures, then and now, to refer to the United States as a "grand experiment." What an experiment to watch generations of people, all with varying histories and perspectives, come together and fight to forge a nation based upon a singular idea – the freedom of and right to self-governance.
We are here today because of an idea. We are here today because people, generation after generation, choose to join together to define, implement, vigilantly defend and evolve an idea.
How difficult it must have been to form an idea and take a stand all those years ago. How difficult it has been to protect and evolve that idea every day, month and year since. How difficult it will continue to be for us today and the generations that follow.
All for an idea for which I am grateful to benefit. All for an idea for which I am grateful to contribute.
All for an idea.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.