I hope you had an enjoyable weekend with your families, friends and neighbors celebrating America’s independence. Whether you spent time enjoying a community barbecue, attending a patriotic parade, or taking in a beautiful fireworks show, I hope you set aside a special moment to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who have made our Fourth of July celebrations possible. We are incredibly fortunate that our nation is home to so many brave service members who dedicate their lives to defending our freedom, securing our homeland and protecting our democracy. Additionally, our law enforcement officers, emergency responders and firefighters work tirelessly to keep us safe here at home and deserve our gratitude. Fourth of July marks a time for us to say thank you to these heroes.
Just as extraordinary, Independence Day marks the birth of the land we love and are blessed to call home. It is the defining moment in our nation’s founding when brave citizens — united by their common pursuit of freedom — stepped forward to declare independence from the tyrannical crown of Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence formed the United States of America and united all Americans around our sovereignty. It ingrained our unalienable rights and established a framework for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our Founding Fathers’ courageous act of defiance paved the way for our great experiment in democracy and over two centuries of historic risks, stumbles, and most noteworthy, accomplishments.
Think about it. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of our Constitution, to the Louisiana Purchase and the first transcontinental railroad, the first flight in North Carolina, two world wars, the Civil Rights movement, the first man to set foot on the moon, the internet and the unparalleled innovation that followed, and the death of Osama bin Laden and our continued war on terror and those who wish to do us harm, it’s been a tremendous, decorated 239 years. While these are only a handful of the milestones, they all have one thing in common — the American spirit.
We’ve seen the strength and resolve of the American people most recently in Charleston, S.C., and across our nation after a tragic, hateful shooting that was unleashed without premise or provocation. The events of that night have left us with many questions. We were all shocked by this senseless act of violence, but we are united in our faith, strength and peace.
E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. These words, inscribed on the seal of the United States, are a powerful reminder that America’s greatest strength lies in the bonds of our community. As one nation under God, we will continue to move forward with strength. We will continue to unite as a community, confident in the knowledge that no act of violence is enough to shatter the American spirit.
I’m so proud to be an American, to call you all neighbors and to have the opportunity to celebrate our freedoms every Fourth of July. As your representative, I won’t stop fighting to preserve and protect these freedoms and keep America strong.