Happy 4th of July!
In Washington's farewell address in 1796 he urged citizens to place their identity as "the name American" above their identities as members of a state, city, or region. To focus their efforts and affection on the country - above all other local interests. Washington asked the people to look beyond any slight differences between them in religion, manners, habits, and political principles, and place their independence and liberty above all else, wanting everyone to be united.
Let us not become so distracted, so angry, so discontent, so divisive, or even worse, so apathetic that we forget what a wonderfully amazing country we live in.
As we celebrate today, I am proud our United States of America is as she was intended, a great one. Americans daily do our part, whether big or small, by going to work, loving others, feeding the poor, picking up trash, or just being a friend. We are evidence that with hard work and determination a person can be whatever he or she wants to be. You and I have the freedom to, because we are American.
Happy Independence Day!