Every Fourth of July, citizens across the nation celebrate the birthday of America. With fireworks, barbecues, parades, and picnics, Americans demonstrate their patriotism for our great nation.
But Independence Day is more than just a birthday party for America. It’s a national celebration of our country’s unique heritage of freedom.
This heritage of freedom has been recognized and acclaimed throughout America’s history:
- Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers, declared that “Where liberty is, there is my country.”
- American statesman Daniel Webster stated, “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!”
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “America is best described by one word, freedom.”
Independence Day is a day for celebration, a day to express our patriotism for our country, a day to honor those who have fought for our freedom. But most importantly, Independence Day is a day to remember that protecting freedom is our responsibility.
As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should.”
As we celebrate the Fourth of July this year, we should realize the great responsibility that we have been given as citizens of a free nation. As we sing “God Bless America” and bow our heads in prayer, we should thank God for the tremendous blessing of freedom that we enjoy, and we should pray for spiritual revival in our nation. As we honor those who have given their lives to defend our freedom, we should remember that freedom must be protected by all American citizens, not just our nation’s bravest soldiers. As we sing our national anthem and pledge allegiance to our flag, we should purpose that, no matter the cost, we will do everything we can to ensure that the freedom that countless Americans have sacrificed their lives for will endure for generations to come.
We should heed President Ronald Reagan’s warning that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
This Fourth of July, we will look to the past in celebration of our nation’s wonderful heritage of freedom. But we must also look to the future of America, a future that depends on the efforts of every American citizen, a future that depends on you and me.
Flora is a student at Pensacola Christian College and an intern with Concerned Women for America’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program. To learn about internship opportunities with Concerned Women for America, click here.