Independence Day gives us all a chance to reflect on our country and take pride in our nation's enduring principles. On this day 246 years ago, the Declaration of Independence was ratified by exemplary visionaries who dared to initiate the most grand experiment of self-governance in human history by creating a new form of government. It is constrained by the recognition of God-given inalienable rights; which the government may not take away nor infringe upon, but must protect.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," is one of the most powerful statements of all time. Those words still ring loudly throughout the world today as America has taken its foundation of freedom and transformed it into the blueprint for the greatest nation on Earth.

This freedom has not come without sacrifice. Countless men and women have given their lives on and off the battlefield for our freedoms and rights. Civil and international wars have been fought to expand those freedoms to all people, and we continue that fight today. We are a nation that celebrates our differences; we do not persecute because of them.

As we celebrate independence on July 4, we also celebrate our country’s unity in spite of our differences. Our nation—and our great commonwealth—was founded on a simple principle: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

As we celebrate with our family and friends this holiday, let us keep in mind those principles of freedom, sacrifice, and unity. We are one nation, under God, and together we will continue to live the lives our founding fathers envisioned for the future of this great nation.

I hope that you and your family stay safe this holiday, keep one another close, and God bless America.