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Happy Independence Day, Folks!

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Happy 4th of July.


For many. . .this is the kick off of a long weekend, time for BBQs  family and let us not forget fireworks.   But take a moment to think about what this day means .. . . and 238 years ago. . .. think about the world. .. . there was not a single "democracy" on the planet nor had there been one since the days of the Greek City States.   Men bowed down to kings not God, they lived at the whim of royalty.


The American Revolution was not an uprising of the lower class. . .rather it was lead by those with the most to lose .. .men with lands, wealth and position stood shoulder to shoulder behind a concept that all men were created equal.   Had they failed, they would not only sacrifice their property and their families be humiliated, they would forfeit their lives as well. . .This concept of individual rights and self determination as alien to the world in the 1700 plus years after Christ  as would be transcontential flight or heart transplants at the time.   And no, we didn't get it perfect right off the bat . . .these men were not perfect but then no man is.   They allowed the heinous policy of slavery to exist, women would not have the right to vote for over 100 more years.   They were men not God though even the deitist Thomas Jefferston would declare our rights endowed by our creator. Yet even with these flaws, the ground work was laid to create a nation unlike anything the world would ever see.


The day represents the day these amazing men would throw off the yoke of tyranny and declare with one voice, WE WILL BE FREE. . . . we have the right of life, of liberty. . .the right to pursue every opportunity. . .


This nation would be created on the concept that we had the right to self-determination. . .that we were free to pursue opportunity. . . that we could build and grow. . .and yes. . .that we could fail. . .the promise was never about an outcome but tearing down barriers to opportunity.   In fact in failure. . we saw greatness and we are reminded of the iconic story of Abraham Lincoln. . .who tried and failed over and over until he succeeded.   And he held the nation together at her darkest time.


We have grown into the shining light on the hill. . . a country of exceptionalism and individualism.   We should never stay far from Luke's quote in the bible. . . ". From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.". . .


And America has risen to that challenge over the years .. . .America is a lighthouse for Freedom and Opportunity.   We have sent our young men to rescue the world from evil and tyranny and they have paid the price with their last full measure of devotion.  They served because their nation called.   I know those who have served from World War I (my grandfather) to World War II (my dad and the Greatest Generation) to Korea and Viet Nam and Beruit, Grenada and the Cold War and the 1st Gulf War to the Global War on Terror.   There is no doubt in my green amphibious mind that those who serve today are every bit the warriors. . .every bit the quality leaders and will stack their accomplishments proudly with those of any generation.  


Or the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. . . ."Ask not what your country can do for you . .but rather ask what you can do for your country"


To live up to the words of JFK and the challenge of Luke.  ..we must seek greatness and exceptionalism as individuals.   Our success must come from the hearts of patrons not the backs of the collective.  We are a nation of individuals, afterall.. ..that is the concept we were founded upon .. . individuals with rights not servants bowing down to kings.   This strange and alien concept in 1775 is alive and well today.  


My deepest gratitude to those who went before me and built a nation which offered me an opportunity . ..an opportunity to serve and to succeed.   That is what the 4th of July represents.  ..


This is a portion of our Declaration. . . .July 4th, 1776 .. . a date that would forever change the world .. .


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.



But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


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