Opinion

Proud to Celebrate America

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress packed into the Pennsylvania State House and approved the text of the Declaration of Independence. When it was read aloud publicly for the first time four days later, the Liberty Bell rang out in cheer. While there was cause for celebration, the American colonists were a long way from freedom. For seven years, the young and resilient American patriots faced a steep uphill fight against the larger and more equipped British military. From the first battles at Lexington and Concord, during the harsh winter at Valley Forge, and all the way through the victory at Yorktown, our forefathers fought with everything they had to secure the promise of liberty. When the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in September of 1783, over 217,000 Americans had paid for that freedom with their lives.

Even though Congress did not make it an official holiday until 1870, Americans for decades before and centuries since have paused on July 4th†to celebrate our history and honor our heritage. This year, celebrating America is perhaps more important than ever.

For the past month, our nation has had its history attacked and disgraced. Itís true that there have been some dark days in our nationís past. From the Trail of Tears and the Dred Scott decision, to slavery and segregation, to internment camps and McCarthyism, America has failed at times to live up to our founding principles. Yet instead of wallowing in our faults, Americans strive to fulfill the promise of building a more perfect union. Unfortunately, there is a violent mob that would rather erase our past then celebrate how far weíve come. I donít think the best way to remember, learn and grow from our history is to try and erase the parts which may make us uncomfortable looking back on them today. It is forcing those uncomfortable conversations with future generations about everything our country has been through, the good and the bad, and learned from, which helps us understand where we have been and how we ensure we donít return to some of those mistakes. Mercifully, as I witnessed firsthand this week, unlike the Left and their mob, President Trump remains committed to protecting our history and honoring our heroes.

On Friday, I had the incredible opportunity to join the President at Mount Rushmore to celebrate some of the most important leaders in our nationís history. Carved into the mountainís granite side are 60-foot faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Each of these great men left an indelible mark on our nationís history, and all are victims of the mobís intolerance. Itís hard to even comprehend what the United States would look like without their accomplishments. Without George Washington, would the U.S. have won the war for independence? Without Thomas Jefferson, would we still be confined east of the Mississippi River? Without Teddy Roosevelt, would the U.S. Navy remain an afterthought and the Panama Canal still a work in progress? Without Abraham Lincoln, would there still be a United States? These questions are all impossible to answer, but they are exactly the kinds of thoughts I had running through my head as I stared in awe at the majesty of Mount Rushmore. President Trump was right to choose this iconic monumentóand the great Americans depictedóto celebrate and honor this Fourth of July.

Our nationís past is so important for understanding the present and for guiding the future of the United States. If the mob gets their way, weíll be forced to forget about the generations of brave servicemen and women that have fought to defend our freedoms from tyranny and oppression. After all, itís their sacrifices that have given us what we hold most dear in southern Missouri: the blessing of faith and freedom, the love of family and community, and the defense of home and country. This year, with our nationís own history under attack, itís more important than ever to learn from the giants who came before us. To learn the lessons left behind by Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Because regardless of what the mob wants us to believe, the United States still remains the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We remain the beacon of hope and opportunity. The first nation that proved you can achieve success through hard work and determination. I donít know about you, but for me, those are all things worth celebrating, protecting, and praying for this Fourth of July.