Happy Birthday America!
I love the Fourth of July because it brings together friends and foes, strangers and neighbors, men and women from every political persuasion and cause in a collective moment of celebration of America.
With these timeless words – “ 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” – a nation was born. This Declaration of Independence was much more than a birth announcement, it was a bold affirmation of the rights and freedoms for which men and women were willing to sacrifice everything, even their very lives, to preserve.
While celebrating this document, much discussion has always centered on the right to life and liberty. I often like to ponder the foresight our Founding Fathers had when they included the unalienable right to pursue happiness. Few other political documents throughout the world discuss the right of citizens to be happy. What a simple, yet profound inclusion.
Freedom enables happiness. Freedom resonates deep in our souls, creating opportunities to pursue happiness unavailable in the absence of basic liberty.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
I have the treasured opportunity as a United States Senator to observe freedom flourishing in the hearts of Utahns from corner to corner of our beautiful state. Our freedom and liberty is the heart of our nation.
Freedom is expressed in the service performed every day by brave men and women at home and abroad who wear our nation’s uniform. It can be found at neighborhood celebrations, in our schools, our churches, and our grocery stores. Freedom is evident in the smiles of young children attending parades today, and in the tears of proud veterans who salute our flag.
As we celebrate this historic day, I hope we all take a moment to ponder the blessing of freedom and enjoy the happiness it can bring.
Perhaps Daniel Webster said it best, “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!”
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our nation.