Two hundred and thirty six years ago today, the United States of America threw off the shackles of British oppression and announced our presence to the world as the first safe harbor for freedom, justice and liberty.
Each year on July 4th, we come together. Families across our great nation will celebrate with baseball games and parades; hot dogs and fireworks; boats and swimming pools. Today, we are all Americans.
One of my favorite stories of our founders came on our nations 50th birthday, July 4th 1826. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence, two of our nations first Presidents, two great friends and two of our nations most bitter political rivals both laid with their final breaths on earth imminent.
Having spent their lives building our nation at the severe cost of their mutual fondness, these two friends threw aside their political enmity to declare their renewed bond of friendship. To old to travel, in the final months of their lives, they embarked on a series of correspondence designed at reconciliation. They remarked on their devotion for our country and realized that each of them had that intention at the heart of their actions. It was merely their methods that put them at odds.
50 years to the day of their signage upon our great treatise on liberty, the Declaration of Independence, President John Adams and President Thomas Jefferson took their last breaths. Famously, with his final breath, John Adams declared his acceptance of his end with an assurance that "Jefferson lives," and the nation could carry on with him unaware that his friend had passed away mere hours before.
As has been the case in our past, our nation today resides at a great crossroad of political bitterness. But there is hope.
I think a message from our past can remind us that we are all Americans and that disagreements can occur from the equally good intentions.
Thank you and God Bless America,
Member of Congress