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Happy Independence Day

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I love this picture.  In the forefront of a spectacular fireworks display is the welcoming silhouette of the Statue of Liberty.  At its base is an inscription, the most famous portion being:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

In the 1920's, my paternal great grandparents left Ireland for a life in America.  Settling in the Irish dominant community of Boston, they started a family.  At almost the same time, my maternal great grandparents arrived from Wales.  This is a story repeated over and over with many cultures and people of all backgrounds planting roots in this great country.

It's something the founding fathers envisioned when they fought and won their independence from British rule.  Declaring independence on July 4th, 1776, they put forth the Declaration of Independence.  It's an amazing document filled with towering statements:

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.

Today, the document still rings loud and clear, but it is best read with an understanding of the events leading up to that point in history.  That way, you can get a sense of the magnitude of what was said and written.

Whatever you choose to do today in celebration of this nation's declaration of independence, I hope you enjoy yourself and are safe.  Me?  I'm celebrating the fourth at a marriage celebration for my extended Filipino family.  There'll be plenty of great Filipino dishes along with family and friends.  It's gonna be a good day.

Before I go, a special THANK YOU to our service men and women who KEEP us safe.  Your bravery and dedication to this country is a lesson to us all.