Our nation has accomplished what very few have in such a short period of time. This Fourth of July we will celebrate America’s 241st birthday, when our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. A quick glance at a calendar shows how much we value our country’s rich history.
The diversity and range of U.S. holidays is an important demonstration of our patriotism. Holidays such as President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and some would even say Super Bowl Sunday, are opportunities for our nation to celebrate, mourn, and thank our forefathers. It is those generations of Americans who have made our country a beacon of hope and success.
Occasionally, I hear people questioning the direction of our country and the resolve of our leaders to make it a better place to live for our children and future generations. There is no doubt that fear and anger voiced daily in the public square and on the Internet can make us question our current path, past achievements and even our unity. The constant barrage of anti-American chatter here and around the world can tend to dampen that collective pride.
In his Inaugural Address, President Kennedy warned “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Under the principles of democracy, we send our brave men and women into harm’s way to far reaches of the world because it is right and just. We are the world’s peacekeeper, and fight on shores overseas to protect our own from those who wish us harm. When some return in a flag-draped casket our hearts break for their sacrifice. When we hear our National Anthem, we stand, remove our hats and place our hand over our heart. It’s more than just a symbol of respect, it is in our DNA.
As we approach one of our most patriotic holidays, my trust in the resilience of our Constitution that birthed this country gives me solace. Despite our differences on policy issues, government services, individual freedoms and responsibilities, we will continue to prevail as one – E Pluribus Unum.
The patriotic spirit does not waver based upon who occupies the White House or controls Congress or even the statehouse. What really matters is the formidable voice of our citizenry, whether at the ballot box, on the street, in our homes or silently praying for a country that has given the world the hope of freedom. We are a proud and envied nation.
On the Fourth, I plan to fly my flag high, watch fireworks and celebrate with family, friends and neighbors that freedom continues to reign in this great country. I hope you do the same. Never be afraid to profess your patriotism. Happy Birthday America!
Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) represents communities throughout Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties.