I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

- John Adams on Independence Day

 

Having spent the better part of this year exploring remote reaches of the globe - often without the conveniences nor safety of modern, civilized society - I realize just how fortunate I am to be American...

How far the US Dollar goes in most places around the world...

The fact that we have reliable access to potable water...

And the electrical grid rarely, if ever, goes down for a few hours (let alone, days on end)...

That trains, buses, and airplanes run consistently on time...

That when we make purchases and contractual agreements, the rule of law ensures that those agreements are upheld...

And that we live in one of the safest, most non-violent societies known to history.

These are benefits that we, as Americans, too often take for granted...

And benefits that many other individuals around the world can only dream of.

So in celebration of the birth of our country today, I express my sincerest gratitude for the freedoms, responsibilities, and values woven into the American spirit and enshrined in our  Declaration of Independence.

Happy Independence Day!