My high school mascot is a Patriot, but well before and even as a child I closely associated myself with patriotism, Americana and things “Made in U.S.A.” As we celebrate Independence Day, my mind wanders 237 years back to the beginnings of our country’s history. This was a remarkable time when extraordinary men including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay collectively had a grandiose vision much larger than the sum of its parts.
What does it mean to be a patriot? Though our Founding Fathers beam the true essence of patriotism, all people who share their time and talents in giving back to our country – in whatever way they are able – prove to themselves and others to stand behind the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. Some demonstrate their dedication to patriotism through their willingness to serve in the U.S. Military. Did you know that during the past decade, less than one percent of our country has served to protect the other 99%? Although we may not be on active duty, we all have a responsibility to give back to those defending our freedom. These are the men and women who unselfishly forgo spending this holiday with their own families so that we here in the States feel secure to celebrate the rights of our freedom in comfort.
Today, I invite you and your family to face an America flag, cover your heart and joyfully recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . . these are blessings for which we should be thankful and smile about this Independence Day.