For many of us, this will be a day of picnics, fireworks, and happy gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the joys of freedom. For others, today will be a day like any other, stationed far away from home as they safeguard the freedoms we enjoy.
From the very beginnings of our nation, there have been brave men and women guarding our backs or leading us forward into the free world we know today. From the very beginning men and women have stood up for us, for our rights, for our very existence, forging their way blindly to create a more perfect union.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the 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. (Declaration of Independence)
Today is a day to remember our past and to celebrate our heritage as Americans–with liberty and justice for all.