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Assemblyman
Brian M. Kolb
Assembly District 131
 
Independence Day: Celebrating Our American Heritage
July 3, 2007

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is arguably the most important holiday for us as Americans. On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, affirming our independence from foreign rule and asserting ourselves as an independent nation, free from tyranny.

The Declaration speaks of our individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While this statement was transcribed over 230 years ago, the heart of the meaning still remains true. This “pursuit” can be interpreted many ways, but in general, it means that we are all free to pursue our dreams and enjoy our freedom.

Nowadays, the Fourth of July is celebrated in a number of diverse ways. Many enjoy the sight of fireworks and gather at public celebrations. Others hold private gatherings where family and friends come together to celebrate the birth of a nation. We are all bound, however, by the flag of the United States which symbolizes our freedom.

We have many people to thank for what we have today. From those that founded our country to all of us that live here today. Over the course of the history of the United States, millions have sacrificed their time, energy, and even their lives. We must remember our fallen heroes of the Armed Forces of the United States that protected us from losing our freedom and have made our country the great place that it is.

It is also our duty to carry the United States further on and work for the benefit of all that live here. It is imperative that we don’t lose sight of the meaning of Independence Day, and do not take our freedom for granted.

I feel that as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we should all ask ourselves “what does independence mean to me?” There is no one perfect answer to this question, but I think that we owe it to ourselves and to those that have come before us to really understand what independence means to each and every one of us.

As our world is torn by conflict, as citizens of the United States, we must enjoy the freedom that we are lucky to live with, and remember those that fought and sacrificed for that very freedom that we benefit from today. We live in the greatest country in the world, and when you take in the beautiful sight of the American Flag, make sure to remember why our country is so great, and how it became that way.

 
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