July 4 a time to honor America and look ahead

Published 4:15 pm Thursday, July 3, 2014

As a nation, we set aside the Fourth of July to honor our country’s rich history.

We remember the fight for independence and the people and events that have made this country what it is today.

The United States has seen a great deal of battles, challenges and setbacks since the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, and it is still the greatest nation on the planet.

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Time and again, several characteristics of the American psyche have revealed themselves through the way the nation has overcome its most difficult times.

Americans are motivated to be good stewards of the opportunities they have been afforded.

As they always have been, Americans remain willing to fight the necessary battles.

They are now, and always have been, devoted to doing what it takes to spread the messages of freedom and equal rights to people around the world.

At times the battles for freedom and equal rights had to be waged here in the United States — many were fought here in Selma.

Since its founding 238 years ago, America has been home to hard workers, determined to meet every challenge and leave their children a better world than they inherited.

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate not only our battle for independence all those years ago, but also our determination to remain a strong, vibrant and safe nation regardless of challenges foreign and domestic.

I hope that today, everyone can take a moment to embrace the past, present and future of our country.

We have a beautiful history to remember, and it has only just begun.

And just as our list of accomplishments has just begun, so has our list of struggles.

Today the country is still sloughing its way through a recession that began in 2008. Battles are fought daily across the headlines of television news outlets and Internet blogs. Political gridlock has slowed progress in Washington D.C. to a nearly comical pace. At times, the country seems as divided as ever.

But, it will endure, not because of politicians, laws or government programs; it will be because of the people of this country.

The same could be said about Selma. The everyday people who call Selma home will decide the future of our city.

I have no doubt the issues facing our city, state and country will all be resolved because the willingness of people to roll up their sleeves and work through hard times.

We did just that in 1776, we are doing it in 2014, and we will surely do the same in the future.

So today, while we honor the moments that have defined our country’s past, let us instead turn our attention to the people who will continue to make it the greatest nation in the years ahead.