By: Eric Horton

242 years ago, the second Continental Congress made up of the Thirteen Original Colonies would form the United States of America and declare their independence from the tyrannical and untrusted monarchy of Great Brittan.

Men like Samuel Adams from Massachusetts, who is known as one of the prominent leaders of the American Revolution to Edward Rutledge from South Carolina, the youngest to pen his name to the Declaration of Independence, were patriots who step forward, not knowing the possible consequences the declaration that they gave Great Brittan. Their bravery and commitment captured the essence of their heroism, for if the British were to overtake the Revolutionist, the death of their lives would be at stake.

Fast-forward to today, and it looks as if many people have the same sentiment as those before us. We are a country that is divided, maybe not so apparent here on the South Plains, however, we are divided. There is a sense of mistrust when it comes to our government on both sides of the aisle. Both parties (Democrat & Republican) have either far right or far left leaning folks that like to stop anything from becoming an advantage to the American people. There seems to be no middle ground. For example, the 2018 Farm Bill has still not made it to the President’s desk to sign because the far left has said absolutely no to some provisions and the far right doesn’t want to pay for certain provisions. The Farm Bill should always be a bi-partisan piece of legislation.

In large, things don’t get done because our congress can’t get along. Now understand, I’m not advocating for political unrest, because frankly, there is enough of that around the world. Just look south of the U.S.A. where the Mexico citizens elected a far left leaning president. Some scholars feel he is a lot like the late Yugo Chavez and things like corruption, gang violence, and drugs will certainly get worse.

Take some time to read up on the news about Central and South America. Go across the oceans and take a look at Russia and how their leaders have caused huge firestorms in Ukraine or better yet, dig down to see how bad Syria really is. Civil and political unrest rules the day in many nations, and we, as Americans might be getting closer to that than we want! We can’t even get along over the common sense issues.

Now, July 4th is a day to remember and celebrate our Nations’ birth; our freedom! We’ve gotten here because our ancestors took a stand, and we the people of this great country should always strive to honor and protect this freedom that we inherited and that we all cherish. Let’s become the patriots that we were destined to be for so long. Let us, Americans, stand strong together and look at what we have in common versus what sets us apart.

The one thing we should all have in common is to be proud of our freedoms. For example, being able to worship at a church of your choice is not common in some countries, however, we get that opportunity all the time. Another would be the ability to call out your government without fear of backlash. Also, getting to peacefully assemble and march for civil liberties and not worrying about being arrested. Lastly, even having the liberty and right to own a firearm to protect you and your family from many different evils that lurk. These represent the small portion of freedom that we get to experience in the United States.

Whether you are far left, far right, moderate, conservative, liberal, could care less, or even a vegan, this is our land, our country, our United States of America. How we became the most successful and thriving democratic nation in the world is so important that we must celebrate our culture of freedom and independence! We should carry the burden of remembering and celebrating our forefathers and the road we fought to gain independence. Have a blessed Independence Day and God Bless America!