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Fourth of July symbolizes the United States gaining its independence when it separated from Great Britain in 1776.  Although this act initially began on July 2, it is widely recognized when Congress finalized the Declaration of Independence on July 4.   John Adams poignantly stated to his wife, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”  Adams was spot on, as each year American come together and proudly celebrate this country’s freedom and independence.

Especially on this day, I’d like to THANK all those that have come before us and not only set the standards, but left the door open so others could follow.  For all those that have stood on principle and faith alone and fought for our freedoms and liberties, sacrificing everything, i say THANK you.  I’m so THANKFUL for the men and women of the armed services, presently serving or retired, fallen or still marching, who proudly and willingly put themselves in harm’s way so that we may sleep peacefully at night.  I am THANKFUL  for the trailblazers and the luminaries who dared to dream and pursued their ambitions.  Their example fuels and feeds us and allows us to look through someone else’s eyes and see our aspirations are attainable.  I’m THANKFUL for those that continue to encourage and support us when we’re on top and when we’re on the bottom.  It’s that support that let’s us know we aren’t walking alone.  I’m THANKFUL for every encouraging word, comforting hug, and uplifting prayer.  The simplest of gestures mean so much and make an everlasting impact.  I am THANKFUL for the freedom to pursue my dreams and the independence to think out-of-the-box and solidify my identity and path.  I am THANKFUL because over 230 years ago, a group of men decided they wanted to embark on a new odyssey, forge a new passage, and allow this country the freedom to reign.  THANK YOU!