Independence Day 2018

In honor of US Army PFC Ernest Sutphin of West Virginia, 1983-2004

Living in the greatest country ever invented by the human mind, a country that was never ruled by any royal personage (someone believing the country was theirs by divine decree – hereditary or by violence), a country designed to be governed by the people and for the people through elected representatives, embodying the rights that all people aspire to embrace, is a privilege and a responsibility.

Two hundred and forty-one years ago, a group of independent-minded people made a unanimous declaration of their intension “to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” as well as “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”

And who, among American citizens by birth or by naturalization, regrets that dissolution?

Having lived in another country — where the rights of freedom of speech, religion, self-defense, privacy, due process, a fair trial and many others are not givens, where a person’s opportunities are determined by their station in an aristocracy, where a person is “subject” to the whims of the monarch, where the few remaining individual rights have been usurped by a distant, unaccountable, centralized bureaucracy — I joyfully, and with a strong sense of relief, returned to my native country.

Happy Birthday, America and long may the symbol of our great country wave over this land of free people whose freedom is protected by the bravest of us all.

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