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Happy Fourth of July!

Today in The Netherlands it’s Monday. Just an ordinary day, the start of a new work week (or vacation if you’re fortunate).

For Americans, it’s much more. July 4th is Independence Day, the day we celebrate our nation’s birth. We recall the sacrifice of our forefathers in throwing off the chains of tyranny to become a country in which freedom – in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – is treasured.

Above all, we value our democracy: government of the people, by the people, for the people. One person, one vote, without intimidation or coercion. Smooth transitions from one elected administration and Congress to the next. [Please note that I didn’t say smooth discussions…just transitions.]

Every country celebrates its own special holidays, days that mark crucial dates or important events in their collective history. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge these milestones as they are part of our personal history, the past that helps remind us who we are and from where we came.

I’m proud to be an American. Sure, we have our share of challenges, and we’re not universally loved. But that’s okay. We get much more right than wrong, and we keep trying. We believe deep in our core that we can make things better, and we aspire to do so; it’s part of our cultural identity.

So while I won’t be enjoying a barbeque, fireworks or 4th of July parade in person, I will be there in spirit. Because you can take the gal out of America, but you can’t take America out of the gal.

Land of the free, and the home of the brave. Let freedom ring.

Image credit: Chuck Felix portfolio 303 at freedigitalphotos.net

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