Happy Independence Day to the greatest country in the world. As most of us enjoy our mid-week day off of work, time with family and friends and 4th of July festivities, we must also remember to reflect on the privileges and freedoms we enjoy everyday as Americans and the cost through which it was won.
Countries across the world celebrate their days of independence in different ways. Most often, they're celebrated with displays of militaristic strength. One of the things I truly enjoy is how we as Americans celebrate our nation's birthday. We grill hot dogs and hamburgers in the backyard, go to parades waving the American flag and watch fireworks light up the night sky. We spend it with those we hold most dear. We celebrate our liberty and what that freedom means to us in the most fitting way.
It's exactly as President John Adams had intended for Americans to mark the day:
I am apt to believe that [July 4] will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance with pomp and parade games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
Today, America marks her 236th birthday. She has been through times of war and peace, seen our nation change and evolve many times over. But through it all, she has remained a beacon of freedom and light of liberty.
We could not, of course, have this day of celebration without the brave men and women in uniform who have fought and sacrificed to keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today we remember their courage and gratefully thank them for their service.
Happy 4th of July!