Fourth of July: A Time to Remember Our Freedoms

A letter to the editor from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia)

Every summer, we celebrate the Fourth of July by spending time with our friends and families at parades, backyard barbeques and, possibly, watching fireworks. However, while these are all important parts of this summer tradition, it also is a day when we should pause and remember the true significance of this holiday and what it means to all of us as Americans.

To many, the Fourth of July signifies the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, which ended Great Britain’s oppressive rule of taxation without representation over the American colonies. However, more important, this day represents the creation of a country that was founded on the principles that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Very often, in our busy lives, we take for granted the rights and freedoms that we enjoy as Americans, but we should remember that they have come through many great sacrifices this country has made on the battlefield and its determination as an industrial leader. Over the last 235 years, our country has established itself from a loose group of colonies into the world’s leading nation.

As a proud American, I find the Fourth of July to be a very special day and one that we should all appreciate. With that in mind, I would ask that we all please take a moment to honor our country during this holiday and remember the sacrifices that those before us made to create what Lincoln called “the last best hope of earth.”