Happy Independence Day!
As we celebrate the 246th anniversary of our magnificent country, for me, today is more than just fireworks and parades. The ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are more precious than anything.
But I can’t celebrate today without acknowledging the sharp divisions in our country.
Women’s personal healthcare decisions are being made for them, our environment is under constant attack, the middle class is struggling to get by, and as we saw today in Chicago, the threat of gun-violence is still an ever-present reality.
When I look at the direction of our country today, it’s clear that we still have a long way to go.
The freedoms we enjoy must be defended against those wishing to take them away, not with violence, but with the ballot box. Defending our rights with the tools of democracy is the most patriotic way to celebrate being an American.
Our founding documents still chart a way forward, as they have for the last 246 years. Progress toward these aspirational goals that we find to be self-evident is part of American history. And that’s worth celebrating.