Legislative column

Tuesday is Independence Day and I wanted to stop for a minute and reflect on what that means. Many of us will celebrate by having picnics, attending parades, and watching a fireworks display at dusk. Let us not forget the reason why we celebrate this very special day, the day our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>Mike Cunningham is a Republican member of the Missouri State Senate, representing District 33. Contact him at 573-751-1882 or <a href="http://www.senate.mo.gov/cunningham" target="_blank"><strong>www.senate.mo.gov/cunningham</strong></a></p>” id=”e5b6f98b-d79e-4e89-8e6b-c1a4deab9a56″ style-type=”bio” title=”Bio Box” type=”relcontent”}}

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was founded with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. With the signing of this important document, we claimed our independence from Britain, and Democracy was born. Fifty-six men of simple means and education put their lives, happiness, and worldly possessions on the line to give future generations freedom by inscribing their names on a piece of paper. These men had security in life with money and property, but above all else they wanted freedom and liberty. They gave us a nation that believes in its citizens – a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. On July 4, 2017, the United States of America will celebrate its 241st birthday— 241 years of independence, liberty, freedom, and the uninterrupted pursuit of happiness.

Our forefathers gave more than time and hard work to the cause of independence. Most of these men sacrificed everything they had, including their lives. The British charged some with treason, others fought and died in the Revolutionary War, and many witnessed their homes and livelihood taken from them and destroyed. Yet all stood proud and with determination pledged their devotion.

We, as Americans, should never forget why we have our freedoms and how they were won. Today, there are still those who are willing to give everything for their country. These brave service men and women remind us that the liberties we often take for granted are valuable and worth fighting for. We are not perfect, but we enjoy more freedoms than any other nation on the planet and our promise is perfect. The Fourth of July is just one day a year when we as a nation can stop and reflect on the free and independent life we all have and the struggles of those before us, among us, and in the future. This Fourth of July, I hope you will join me in reflecting, remembering, and thanking those American soldiers who are defending the freedom we celebrate. Only two have ever offered to lay down their life for you, one is Jesus Christ — the other is the American soldier.

Happy 241st birthday America, may it just be one of many, many more to come.

Mike Cunningham is a Republican member of the Missouri State Senate, representing District 33. Contact him at 573-751-1882 or www.senate.mo.gov/cunningham

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