As we begin a long weekend of celebration marking the 233rd anniversary of our nation's bold declaration of independence from the tyranny of a far-off government, there are many reasons to acknowledge the providence of more than two centuries of hard-won democracy.
Yes, the recession has left its bruises in recent months. Our nation's economic system has been affected in ways that will produce lasting changes, some good and some it's too early to tell.
And there is more government tinkering on the horizon that ought to be cause for grave concern by every freedom-loving America.
This, then, is a time to draw from the lessons of that spirit of government that promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for every American. This is no time for sulking. It is a time for using the tools democracy affords us to overcome whatever problems and needs our nation faces.
Enjoy the parades, band concerts and fireworks. We are still a nation of individuals joined in common bonds to further the ideals of liberty, justice and the ability to succeed through determination, hard work and ingenuity.
Happy birthday, America! Let's celebrate everything that is good and pledge to seek the best future possible.