Across the district, residents will spend the 4th of July weekend celebrating with family and friends, safely amidst the turmoil and unrest of a pandemic, economy and a cultural flash-point the likes of which the U.S. has never seen.
We have divisions to mend and wounds to heal with overdue conversations about historically evolving versions of justice, but if there's one thing on which all Americans past and present can agree, it's our ability to be better, to be united and remain independent from tyranny.
The keepers and changers, the preservers and progressives, the conservatives and liberals, our common bond is in our liberty. This weekend is a celebration of the freedoms we've accomplished since and after the first Independence Day, and a contemporary reminder of how far we have to go to ensure a more perfect union for all Americans.
Perfection was not expected or attained when our country was founded. The goal was to become better and united. Many of our founders knew times and people change, and with those changes the government must adapt with them. It would serve us well to remember it today.
This country was founded off of the principle that we were creating a more perfect union. More perfect.
"To establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
This country was not founded off of the ideal that the individual is more important than the whole. It was not the belief that selfish individualism was making us unique or better than others around the world.
It was the fact that we were united that made us special. The belief that the betterment of all is contrary to what's best for the individual is patently false. The idea that being a stronger, more diverse, more accepting society hurts the economy or makes us weaker in anyway is absolutely untrue.
As children, our first contact with the July Fourth holiday is through celebration, parades and fireworks. This is our initial experience with patriotism and the sense of pride in who we are. We can't fully understand in those moments what we are celebrating or what it truly means to be free, but it's visceral, it's innate, and it's meaningful.
The Fourth of July, our Independence Day, is not about war, or battle, or anything negative. It is a day of positive, of liberation. It is the day that we as a country stood up to declare our independence from a force with which we no longer agreed. It was the day that we decided that we were going to take our future and place it in our own hands.
While we may not have gotten everything right in those early days, the idea of that independence and freedom has been the bedrock of who we are as a country ever since.
We have never been a country afraid of taking chances. When did we decide that we were no longer going to pursue a more perfect union and believed that we had become perfect? Our job is not done. We have more to do. We can improve who we are.
The future is not written yet, so join us in picking up that pen to write out the next stage of our country. Let's not be afraid of change or improving who we are. Let's be brave. Let's be courageous. Let's once again show the world that we are ready to lead and create a more perfect union today.
Have a great Independence Day, First District.
P.S. Attn: First District Visitors — During your stay Up North, please adhere to CDC guidelines, wear a mask and social distance. Celebrate freedom responsibly and be considerate of others. Northern Michigan takes pride in having done our best to fend off #COVID19, and we ask you to respect the area and its people. Here are some tips: bit.ly/wramskpls.