“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
Freedom is the theme of the American heart, the mantra of our nation. It is written into the very DNA of who we are, distinguishing us from every other patriot around the world. It’s what allows us to speak for what we believe in, to assemble together in peace. It’s what assures security for our possessions, our property, our homes. It grants us privacy and consideration of our person. It is our choice and reason. It is the negation of slavery, oppression, and bondage. In all things civil, in all things personal, we have the freedom to be. In this country it is our privilege and our right.
But freedom is not free.
Even from the beginning of our nation, the price of freedom was acutely realized. In a letter dated July 2, 1776, John Adams declared:
“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than the means.”
Our freedom has come at the cost of many lives devoted to protecting and defending its accessibility to all Americans at home and abroad. From the Revolutionary War to the wars we fight presently, everything we are and everything we do stands for freedom and its preservation.
It is with that in mind that we offer thanks to the men and women who have and are currently serving in the armed forces; men and women who have lived away from family and friends, who risk their lives to protect and defend who we are. Today we want to say a special thank you as we celebrate the freedom you have fought so hard to preserve.