Happy 4th of July and happy 236th birthday to our great nation! In North Dakota, our freedom and our ability to pursue our dreams have never been greater. As opportunity continues to expand, we can absolutely create the future we want. Many generations have felt North Dakota is the best place in the world to live and raise a family, and it's important now for us to grow in ways that allow future generations to create their future here, too.
Yet these freedoms and opportunities we enjoy haven't come without sacrifice. We owe so much to our dedicated military men and women for all they have done and for all they continue to do each day.
As North Dakotans, we can proudly say that we have the highest participation rate of all 50 states in our National Guard. That mindset toward service is a significant part of our way of life here and it says a lot about the type of people North Dakotans are. In North Dakota, family members, friends and neighbors all band together to keep our state strong, to support communities in times of great need, and to defend our nation as a whole.
On Independence Day, we honor our country. Most importantly, we celebrate and say thank you to those who have given their lives to defend it.