The American way of life is, and always will be, based on freedom. Independence Day holds a special place in our nation's history, not only because it was the dawning of our independence from Great Britain, but also because it is a yearly reminder that we, the American people, are a free people. America is a land where no group can force a mindset on you, and no government may take your freedom from you. If you dream it, you can do it; and even if you don't succeed you get back up and try again. Independence Day holds the same meaning the Founding Fathers imbued it with 236 years ago; no power shall tame an American.
You can see the wild beauty of America in our products, our celebration, and who we are as a people. Fierce independence is what separates the United States and her people from despot regimes, authoritarian states, and mediocrity. The independence that separated the 13 colonies from the motherland more than 200 years ago is the same independence that can be seen in every single small business success, every entrepreneur's perspiring brow, and every parent striving to make their child's future better than their own.
So what is the meaning of Independence Day 236 years later? We live in a world our Founding Fathers could never have predicted (and frankly would not stand for), yet their guiding message remains true. The United States of America must now, as it did then, seize the freedom that our Constitution offers.
As you enjoy our nation's birthday with fireworks, pool parties, parades, barbeques or however you and your family celebrate, I hope that you take a moment to dwell on our nation's deep-seated love of freedom and how it affects us all as individuals and as a nation. So important is that freedom, we cease to be America without it.
I wish you and your family a happy Independence Day. And may God continue to bless America.
Rob Woodall is a U.S. Representative from Lawrenceville.