“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.”
America was founded on these lofty truths. Though we have not lived up to these ideals perfectly, as a nation, we have always held them up as a light unto the world, inviting all countries to live and govern in a higher way. Until recently, our direction has always been upward, ever moving closer to the light of that ideal.
Not too long ago, it seemed as if we were almost there. America was becoming a haven where people of all ethnicities, religions, belief systems, and backgrounds could live together, each pursuing the lives of their dreams.
Now, for the first time in our 241 years as a nation, we seem to be moving in the wrong direction. Racism, hate, religious intolerance and bullying are now openly embraced by our president and his advisers. This administration is supported by politicians without the character required to stand up for what they know to be right.
Many Americans, feeling disheartened, are choosing to forgo any celebration of our nation’s birthday at this time. This lethargic approach to the problem we face will only make it worse. Americans must never accept, passively, what they know to be wrong; each of us needs to stand up and fight for that which is right.
Those who believe in an America that lives up to its principles must join together this Independence Day, and celebrate the ideals that this country was founded upon. Then each of us must stand up throughout the coming year, and take the steps that will truly make America great again. In little ways and big, as each of us is able, we must do our part to create an America that offers all men and women an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams with respect and dignity.