This Friday, family, friends and neighbors will gather to celebrate the 238th anniversary of America’s independence. And, while we’re marching in the parades, jumping in the pools and watching the fireworks, let us not forget to count our blessings as Americans.
On Monday, the Israeli military discovered the bodies of three missing teenagers kidnapped in the West Bank by Hamas militants. Such a tragic ending to the nearly three-week international drama must give all Americans pause.
While ethnic unrest, senseless violence and cultural bloodshed remain the ways of life in many parts of our world, residents of the United States continue to enjoy the freedoms our forefathers guaranteed more than two-hundred years ago. This band of patriots risked their lives to make certain we can worship, assemble and speak without fear of reprisal. We embrace equal justice, the rule of law and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We must never take these ideals for granted.
Defending the ideals of our founders has required the service and sacrifice of every generation. Right now, men and women in uniform are protecting America and other allies against the threats of the 21st century. The Armed Forces of today – and, the veterans of past conflicts – have always answered our nation’s call. As a military father, I will be forever proud of my sons and their comrades in arms for playing vital roles in safeguarding the ideal of liberty. Your dedication inspires me.
On this Independence Day, we must also remember the brave Americans we have lost during current and past conflicts. We honor each one for their courage and selflessness.
To be an American is a high privilege. As citizens of this nation, we can all be proud of our heritage and culture and be secure in our beliefs. The ideals of July 4th, 1776 and the strength of our diversity continue to guide us. Today, let’s remember how much we’ve been given and let’s pledge to make Rockland County stronger and better by recognizing the freedoms we enjoy.