I love our country. I love all of the good things our country stands for, and I'm grateful that our founding fathers had the courage to stand up to King George III and demand our independence. The risk of being hanged for treason made their actions even more remarkable. I'm also grateful for their wisdom as they set up a form of government that was as revolutionary as the war they were fighting. It has served us pretty well over the years.
Furthermore, while we certainly haven't been perfect, I'm not aware of any other nation that has sacrificed so much to defend the freedoms of those in other countries or that has dedicated such a large percentage of its GDP to foreign aid. Our people are mostly good, brave and generous.
Recently, it sometimes feels like things are sliding downhill. Disagreements over differing points of view seem irresolvable and the politics of personal destruction appear to trump concerns over the common welfare.
In spite of the difficult issues, however, I refuse to give up hope.
When the sitting Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, shot and killed the former Secretary of State, Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804, many wondered if our government was falling apart. Yet we survived and grew stronger.
When our nation slid into civil war in 1861, the future seemed dark indeed. The loss of life was staggering in a war that sometimes pitted brother against brother and tore the very fabric of our nation. It has taken a long time to heal but the outcome brought us back together and ended the evil institution of slavery.
Two world wars, the cold war, a number of "conflicts," and the recent rise of terrorism have all challenged and even frightened us, and there are still many battles to be fought. But we've shown great resilience in the past and I'm convinced that we remain a resilient people. History shows that when we really need to, we come together and fight for that which is right and good.
So, again, I am hopeful. I celebrate with all of you the independence of our nation and the good we've accomplished in this world. As a child grows in wisdom and maturity, our nation likewise is growing. Compared to many of the great civilizations throughout history, we are barely into our teenage years, and I look forward to the good we are yet to do. May our freedoms and the good we do become the inspiration for a world in which all can prosper and enjoy the freedoms that have helped us accomplish so much!
Happy 4th of July!!