Today, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) issued the following statement for Independence Day:
"Every July 4, we get together with family and friends to celebrate the independence of our great nation. No matter what our race, ethnicity or religion is, at some point in our family tree our ancestors came to this country for freedom and opportunity. While our backgrounds are diverse, we all share in the American Dream -- of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"Some of us can trace our family tree back to that historic day in 1776, and some of us are first-generation Americans. Some came to escape poverty, famine or war. Some came here as slaves. But today, in 2012, we are all free.
"Our families have all contributed in some way to the American fabric while building on that idea that the Founders had of a country that is like a city upon a hill. These 236 years have been a grand experiment, and we have made tremendous progress toward building a more perfect union.
"While we know we are still working to make America even greater, I want to take today to wish everyone an Independence Day filled with celebration and remembrance of how far we have come since the birth of our nation. Enjoy the picnics, the concerts and the fireworks, and most of all, take a moment to enjoy the fact that we are all fortunate to consider ourselves Americans."