U.S.A., we proudly salute you

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Founding Fathers, 234 years ago, officially adopted our Declaration of Independence, announcing independence from Great Britain, and asserting freedom from tyranny and foreign rule. Our independence has been celebrated ever since, even before the ink dried on the actual Declaration. On the first anniversary of our independence, in Philadelphia, a precedent was set as Congress adjourned and joined everyone in celebration with fireworks and bonfires.

We remain fortunate to be able to enjoy that tradition with families and friends. This July Fourth, I hope you paid tribute to the sacrifice behind the birth of this great nation and the pride and fortitude that persists today.

It is important to remember that our Founding Fathers could have easily gone into history as traitors for their actions. Each voluntarily risked not only their reputations in the history books, but also their lives. Recognizing the severity of the consequences of failing to work together toward victory, Ben Franklin astutely observed to his colleagues, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” By simply signing their names to the Declaration, 56 brave Americans risked the hangman’s noose, believing death was a better alternative than further tyranny. These were extraordinary times that required extraordinary men. Despite the fact that they came from different regions and backgrounds, they selflessly put their differences aside and united for one common cause: Freedom.

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Indeed, present times are certainly trying. We are struggling through a troubled economy. We are combating a disaster in our Gulf that is destroying the livelihoods of thousands. We are seeing divisiveness in our government. And, we are fighting two wars at once.

This Fourth of July, raise the American flag and let its stars brilliantly shine over you and yours throughout this day’s celebrations. Watch with pride as our flag ripples through the sky, all the while representing freedom, unity and liberty. With each push and pull of her needle, Betsy Ross told the story of our fight for independence and instilled pride for the future of America. We should proudly salute this national icon, which represents our enduring strength and resilience.

This Independence Day, let’s celebrate loyalty to this nation, our freedom and one another. Let us always remember the brave actions of our Founding Fathers, and let us recognize the sacrifices of all Americans since, who have answered the call … the call to preserve freedom.

Happy Independence Day, and God Bless America.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, represents the 5th Congressional District and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. He can be reached at the Monroe District Office, 318-322-3500, the Alexandria District Office, 318-445-0818, or Washington, D.C., 202-225-8490. Visit Alexander’s Web site at alexander.house.gov or write him at 316 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.