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Independence Day, 2017

Lost in a day of celebration, tailgate parties, horseshoes and bean-bag toss, sparklers and fireworks, and a thousand other enjoyable and well-earned distractions, is the underlying truth that our foundling nation’s freedom from an oppressive monarchy, now our staunchest ally, came at great cost for those that made the decision that those simple colonies, now these United States, strike out on their own.

These men, and the women that stood with them, pledged much more than allegiance. They staked their fortunes, their sacred honor, and their very lives on the slim chance that success at independence might make the world a better place, at least for those who occupied this small fraction of the North American continent.

How it pains me, that while many lived to see their new-found freedom celebrated in the streets of places like Boston, Philadelphia, New York, these new American patriots did not live to see what a simple, honest, commitment to the rights of man, and an unrelenting pursuit of these freedoms, even unto death, would do to change an entire world.

The world is a better place, and without question life is better around the planet, because men and women, then and now, were willing to put their lives on the line, in the belief 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.

The men and women of the United States Armed Forces, ever since 1776, have carried that message of freedom to every corner of the globe, and even now…

…for support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Today we celebrate Independence Day, 

freedom from tyranny for all,

robust enough to define a country,

fragile enough to require eternal vigilance,

and valuable enough to be purchased with blood.



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