Fourth of July deserves celebration, contemplation

Published 4:59 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

It’s that time of year.

Americans gather to celebrate the birth of the nation and the principles of freedom held so dear.

“Four score and seven years ago” may seem removed from today’s generation, but the reality is that the values for which thousands laid down their lives are more important than ever.

Quite simply, it is a privilege to be an American. From religious freedom and voting rights, to achieving the American dream, there is nothing like it.

On this Fourth of July, don’t just have a cookout, mosey down to see fireworks and call it a day. The holiday is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time to remember the sacrifices that made it possible to live here today.

Along with remembering those sacrifices, consider one’s vision of America’s future and how citizens can actively participate to make it happen. For example, general elections are coming up in November. It is vital for Beaufort County residents to get out and vote. That is a small responsibility often shirked by millions, but power to the people isn’t a concept to be taken lightly.

Yes, head with the family to Festival Park to celebrate Independence Day, but by the same token, don’t forget to consider why residents are even able to gather for a nice community event. Just as freedom didn’t come overnight, neither did Washington grow to a waterfront community without blood, sweat and tears over the course of decades.

The land of the free and home of the brave was founded and continues to thrive because of those small towns keeping the spirit of democracy alive.

Don’t forget the importance of independence and the gravity of the efforts that went into achieving it. All Americans owe previous generations for where the nation is today, and future generations will look toward the examples set now.

Be proud to be an American. And for generations to come, God bless America.