The Fourth of July holiday is uniquely a day of celebration that signifies the launching of our freedom as a nation. In history, it was a movement full of angst as we declared a departure from our ruling government. It was filled with risk, change, and the promise of a new world of understanding our position in the world.
It was the birth of a nation of democracy filled with new expectations, uncertainty about the future, and hope for what could be.
Over two centuries have passed, and it has truly been an amazing journey as a nation.
We have been a country that has had the privilege of being a world leader. Our forefathers had an incredible vision. It was a vision of self-determination with a new stewardship of our people and their rights.
Today, as we think of those important historical moments, we have much to be thankful for. We realize many freedoms and rights that people all over the world have never experienced. However, those rights require stewardship. With such freedom comes responsibility. We must assume a role to impact positively our families, our communities, our country, and our world.
I grow concerned about how we as a nation are becoming more and more polarized.
I continue to see how much discord there is that has affected our children and their futures.
We are experiencing many challenging issues such as opioids, mental health concerns, suicide, bullying, and violence. There is nothing as devastating as losing a loved one to addictions, mental illness, or suicide. It violates our rights and sense of control in brutally vulnerable ways.
It could be said that our social ills are now the enemy of our freedoms.
Like our forefathers, I think it is more essential than ever for the sake of our children, families, and communities that we find ways to join together with a new vision for how we will deal with the complex problems of our nation.
We need to meet at the table of conciliation so we can find ways to deal with our problems in a resonant, effective, and compelling way. The issues may be different, but the spirit of freedom still needs to be our guiding vision—to protect our children, families and country.
I do hope all of you have a great Fourth of July celebration. I also hope this will be a great next year of working together to help those who cannot help themselves. We need to grant them social, relational, emotional, and physical safety and freedom. It is the right kind of stewardship for the gift of freedom that we all possess in America.
Have a great Fourth of July, and let’s all do our part to work together to help those we encounter each and every day!
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO