A Celebration

A Celebration



We just celebrated a birthday, an anniversary, and an acknowledgement of one of the greatest events in modern history – the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We’ll celebrated the gift we received, and we acknowledged the legacy we inherited.

Without that gift, our businesses, and our culture would be far different from what they are today. The holiday’s focus is usually directed to the writers and the signers, but the support and participation of the community at large was necessary for success.

And the combined contributions and participation of the businesses of the time were an essential part of that community effort. Then, as now, businesses are driving forces throughout the country.

Every time I think about Independence Day I am awed by what the colonists did on July 4, 1776. They said “No” to what was perhaps the most powerful country in the world. They told King George III. “We will no longer be governed by you.”

They risked everything when they pledged “…our Lives our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

They wanted to form “a more perfect union” knowing full well that nothing is perfect. They and we aspire to perfection, but achieving it is impossible.

In the years before and the years since declaring independence we have not been perfect. We have made some mistakes, but we’ve done many things right. We have built businesses and, expanded commerce that has had a profound impact around the world, and what we built is worth preserving, protecting, and defending.             What we have is what attracts others from around the world to come here. Every day far more people walk through the “Entrance” door than through the “Exit.”

It’s easy to find thing s or people we disagree with concerning the way our country is functioning. But the important factor is the simple truth that we are free to do precisely that!

Even people who stomp on or burn the flag should recognize why they have the right to do that.

We can disagree, and we can dissent, but we vote to express our beliefs. We work to help have laws passed or to have them changed.

That’s the legacy passed on to us by the actions of July 4, 1776.

“We the People” is much more than an interesting catch phrase.

In this day of high tech communication and text messaging to achieve an economy of words to share ideas, it’s interesting to note the entire Declaration of Independence is only 1,337 words long. That’s approximately the length of two of these columns. Wouldn’t it be exciting if these columns could share such powerful information and be responsible for such lasting ideas?

Thomas Jefferson didn’t have a Smartphone, but the ideas and the commitment he articulated with a quill and a bottle of ink are as powerful today as they were 239 years ago.

As in the life of any business, any individual, or any family, there are good days and bad days, good decisions and bad decisions; but the strength, the fortitude and the commitment to improving and moving forward continue to keep us focused and strong.

On this July 4th, let us resolve to continue working toward that goal of forming a more perfect union.

There will be plenty of cookouts and fire works on Saturday, but the greatest way to demonstrate our commitment is to fly the American flag proudly. Throughout our history businesses have been standard bearers, and they still play that role. In recent years, though, many of us have grown complacent, and the flag is often left in a closet, a storeroom, or in garage.

We are living in a free society, but that freedom is fragile. Remember the line attributed to Thomas Jefferson (and many others, too). “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” We are still facing challenging times that demand attention from all of us.

A strong display of our flag in business establishments, parks, homes, and churches proclaims our values and our intention to preserve them.

Long may it wave!







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