We are approaching the 239th anniversary of our nation declaring its independence from Great Britain and its king.
With the time that has passed and the comforts we have grown accustomed to since then, it can often be easy to take the founding of our country for granted.
But the courage it took to break free from tyranny and create a brand new government, based on the idea that our human rights are granted, not by the throne, but by our Creator, is nothing short of remarkable. That for nearly two-and-a-half centuries this country has attracted generation after generation of people to its shores is a testament to the kind of ideals, philosophy and foresight that our Founders had.
Outside of our military, the battles being “fought” in politics today do not compare to the ones that ultimately gave us The United States of America. But still today, I firmly believe it is the responsibility of citizens and the people they elect to stand and serve based on the lessons we are taught by our founding principles, those found in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
Our nation has never been perfect (name me one that has), but the fact that we live in a country that is willing to address and fix its shortcomings says a lot about just how fortunate we are to call the United States home.
So often, it feels like important holidays such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the Fourth of July are recognized mostly for being a break from work or school, a long weekend that lets us sleep in an extra day.
Personally, I think it is great that these events make it easier for families to come together and share each other’s company and memories.
But if our young people grow up thinking that these days are only about picnics and fireworks, then we are doing our entire country a great disservice. It is critical we never forget the strenuous journey that has led us to this destination.
This year, enjoy the sparklers and make sure the macaroni salad stays cold, but also remember that 239 years ago, this day was not so free of tension.
Over all those years, it has taken courageous men and women willing to fight in order to create and preserve this country and everything it stands for.
Happy Independence Day!
Cliff Rosenberger is Ohio Speaker of the House and represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton County.