As we all get ready to celebrate Independence Day this weekend with family, friends and fireworks, let’s keep in mind what the Fourth of July is all about.
On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers put their lives on the line to declare independence from the tyranny of King George III. This action was taken in the names of freedom and liberty from an overreaching government and has since been an inspiration for many others around the world suffering under tyrannical rule.
On that day a unique republic was birthed. Since then, the United States has continued the tradition of promoting these uniquely American liberties and freedoms. The United States played a critical role in defeating the tyrannical fascist ideology in the 20th Century, and it was American might that led to victory in the Cold War and the demise of Soviet Communism.
Contrary to what some present-day politicians want one to believe, the United States is an exceptional nation. I take every Fourth of July as an opportunity to remind myself that America is the greatest country in the world. Or, as President Reagan so eloquently referred to it, the shining city upon a hill.
It’s more important now than ever for us to remember this fact that should be self-evident. Currently, in academia and politics alike, there are concerted efforts at revisionist history to make our younger generations ashamed of our history and our values. This is unacceptable, and patriotic Americans cannot let this stand.
I am proud to be an American. I wish all East Tennesseans, and all Americans, a happy Independence Day!
Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger represents Tennessee’s First Congressional District. She is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Homeland Security.