***image1***When I was a little boy growing up in Philadelphia, my favorite field trip was going to Independence Hall.
Although I didn’t understand the full meaning of the Declaration of Independence, I knew that it was important to our country.
I also knew that some day this small room in a somewhat dilapidated old building in the middle of my city where the signing of the Declaration occurred and where the Liberty Bell sat encased would some day mean a great deal more to me. I was right.
Independence Day is significant. It represents our nation’s past and its future. It is more than a time for picnics, parades, fireworks and reunions. It is a time for reflection.
Every year, Independence Day reminds us of the sacrifices our forefathers made in making our country free.
Our country has endured major wars, both at home and abroad. For 228 years we have demonstrated commitment, resilience and resolve. Wavering when it comes to freedom is not an American trait.
Today our nation is at war. We continue to make sacrifices for our country to make the world a safer place. Our deployed Soldiers and Airmen represent the parchment and the ink of our 228 year-old Declaration that is enshrined in our National Archives. These warriors continue to “carry our flag” in order to preserve the values that make Americans what we are.
I am proud to be an American. I am proud to serve alongside our German friends. I am especially proud to say that it is an honor to carry out what our forefathers started.