Is there anything left in America worth celebrating? Our answer is a resounding yes.
The country lost a leading voice recently when Charles Krauthammer died. He regularly declared that this nation, warts and all, is special. Krauthammer most accurately defined why the country is worth celebrating when he wrote, "America is the only country ever founded on an idea. The only country that is not founded on race or even common history. It's founded on an idea and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before. And not only has it happened, but it's worked. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history."
The idea of liberty is worth celebrating.
That America continues as beacon to freedom-loving people around the world is worth celebrating.
The definite actions, in commonplace duty, exhibited daily by American citizens are worth celebrating.
Americans regularly donate millions of dollars and countless hours to lift the poor, serve the suffering and strengthen those in need. This country's people are among the most charitable people on the planet and are often the first on the scene of a natural disaster, first to volunteer, first to contribute and first to rally others to lend a hand.
The goodness in the hearts of the people of America and the actions that goodness drives are worth celebrating.
The Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Such a declaration is worth celebrating. Every single day.
Equality, life and liberty are worth celebrating.
Even the pursuit of happiness, though largely misunderstood in principle and practice, is worth celebrating.
Said Thomas Jefferson, "Happiness is the aim of life, but virtue is the foundation of happiness." To Jefferson, the meaning of the pursuit of happiness went much deeper than fleeting emotional feelings or personal pleasure.
In his book "Happiness: A History," Dr. Darrin McMahon writes, "early Americans agreed that by pursuing the happiness of others, they helped to ensure their own."
Americans who find true happiness by creating happiness for others are worth celebrating.
Those who, as the close of the declaration expresses, pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor are worth celebrating.
The American citizens who have sacrificed much, even sacrificed all, in defense of freedom are worth celebrating. And remembering.
Those who have sacrificed their lives, those who have lived with the sacrifice of a lost loved one, those who have sacrificed a limb, those who have sacrificed a life of ease, those who have sacrificed time and material comfort — all for the cause of liberty — are worth celebrating.
If Americans choose to do their part now, perhaps a future generation will celebrate the efforts and commitment to freedom demonstrated by those living today.
International storm clouds may appear on the horizon; the crisis of addiction and the diseases of despair may loom in the country's communities, and anger, discord and division may be fracturing hearts and homes. With all that trouble, and more, some may still question if there is anything worth celebrating this July Fourth.
The United States of America, the principles of liberty and the resilient spirit of the American people are still the last best hope on earth.
We simply say that America and its people are absolutely worth celebrating.