The Fourth of July is upon us and as we plan this year's celebrations, we are reminded of the unique memories each of us carries from years long ago. For me, I can recall the taste of hotdogs on the grill, the sound of the fireworks as they painted the sky--and our driveway--and the fun spending time with family and friends. Fourth of July has always been a time for my family to gather, relax, and enjoy the company of each other.
Now that my daughters are grown, I think back to taking them to parades at towns across South Dakota and the celebration on July 3rd at Mount Rushmore. Over the years we have gone through a lot of sparklers at our house.
While families in South Dakota and throughout the nation each celebrate in their own way, we are all unified in our cause for celebration: America's freedom and the many blessings that we enjoy.
July 4, 2011, marks 235 years since that proud day when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, declaring the United States' freedom from Great Britain.
The passage of such declaration forever changed the landscape of our country and was the cornerstone of our great Republic. Since that day, our freedom and liberty have endured and, thanks to countless brave men and women, we have conquered fierce challenges at home and abroad.
So while we gather with our families, friends, and neighbors this year, we unite as a country to celebrate our precious liberty, and the men and women who selflessly serve to protect and preserve our freedom. May God forever bless the United States of America.