American Military Families Autism Support wishes all Americans a happy birthday today as we celebrate our nation’s origins.
In much the same way someone who celebrates Christmas would not say, “Happy December 25th,” today is known to Americans as our Independence Day, not the actual date it falls under.
Today is about reflection of freedom, the importance of defending it at all costs and the commitment to ensure it endures for all our citizens, regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with their perspectives.
It’s a day to be unabashedly patriotic. Our founding fathers were on this day 236 years ago, when they signed the Declaration of Independence.
For our military families, you know the cost of freedom. For our families dealing with autism, you understand the fight for freedom even more-so.
As Americans we love our freedoms and way of life. But how many of us actually understand the principles of our founding fathers? Sure, lots of people recognize that Samuel Adams makes a great bottle of beer, but how many people understand he was one of the framers of the processes which built this land of opportunity?
As we celebrate our Independence Day as the greatest nation in the world, take a minute to actually read the Declaration of Independence, understand some of the thoughts behind why we fought the Revolutionary War, and how that represents what we are as a country today.
Independence on this day has a different meaning to everyone. A blog from Air Force Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick shares what independence means to her. Also see an Age of Autism post titled, The Meaning of Independence Day, Autism Style gives an autism perspective to the day.
Our nation’s newest citizens were with our Commander-in-Chief today at the White House during their naturalization ceremony. They are fellow military members, who had already swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, before even having the privilege to call themselves an American.
To signify the day, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta offered the following message:
“On this Independence Day, I would like to extend my gratitude and best wishes to our entire military family: our men and women in uniform who serve around the world, and their families, and our Department of Defense civilians who support them, and their families. On this day, we honor all of you for your service and the many sacrifices you make to defend our freedom.
“While many Americans will spend this holiday with family and friends enjoying summer weather, fireworks, and outdoor barbeques, others will be on the front lines defending our country. Today, in particular, the American people pay tribute to those of you deployed overseas for your strength, your courage, and your willingness to put your lives on the line to protect this country.
“It was 236 years ago that our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Since then, succeeding generations of Americans have stepped forward to safeguard the liberties that our foundersfought to give us. That was true 200 years ago during the War of 1812, when we first defended our young nation from attack, and has remained true whenever freedom has been threatened in the generations since.
“Today, our brave men and women in uniform continue to protect our freedoms that were first outlined in that Declaration. They serve our nation proudly and they are willing to put their lives on the line so that our children can have a better future.
“As we celebrate the birth of our nation, it is a time for our leaders and every American to recognize that the blessings of freedom we enjoy are not free – they come from a legacy of sacrifice, courage, and leadership. That legacy is now our responsibility to fulfill – so that our children can enjoy a better life.
“May God bless you, may God bless our military, and may God bless this great nation.”