Give us independence from death, uncertainty and division

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On this Fourth of July, we find ourselves in a unique position to contemporaneously celebrate our triumph in persevering through COVID-19, just as we celebrated our win against the British in 1776. This year, we should aim to see the world through the eyes of the Founding Fathers, who undertook the monumental task of creating a nation free from the control of unjust rulers during a period of great uncertainty. We should commemorate not just our original freedom from British rule but also our newfound independence from death, uncertainty and — hopefully — division. 

No country in history is as unique as the United States. The intelligent design of our nation allows us to change through time and develop beyond our transgressions. We have the unique capacity to overcome, adapt and consider our actions today, as well as the consequences of those decisions tomorrow. We are cautious and confident — but not so confident that we feel we are beyond reproach. The design of our nation requires us to reflect on past transgressions and triumphs, to see where we went wrong, where we were right and, most importantly, where we are headed. 

No nation is perfect — ours is no exception — but we have the capacity to become “a more perfect Union” through observation of our past actions. While July 4th commemorates the founding of our nation, it also serves as a reminder of our fortitude, our capacity to overcome obstacles, and our ongoing attempts to do so. 

America is made up of people from many walks of life, each with distinct viewpoints. Regardless of our differences, we must come together and work to preserve our freedom, prosperity, independence and individuality, which is so vital to the rights of all people, and distinctly characteristic of a free nation. We carry on our shoulders not just the future of this country but of the world, and we must never forget our responsibility to those who look to America for direction, leadership and hope — both in times of peace and, as is particularly relevant now, times of uncertainty. 

Many are unaware of the history of July Fourth because of its common misinterpretation as the day we celebrated our independence from the British — but that occurred on July 2, 1776. It also was not the first day of the American Revolution — that was April 19, 1775. History is fascinating. It shows us that this country has suffered tremendous instability, triggered by both foreign nations and people living within our borders. But history also reveals, through the past failures of other nations, that America would be unrecognizable if not for the fortitude of our Founders, who fought back against all invasions of freedom. In fact, the country that is frequently seen as the benchmark of freedom would not exist today without their resilience and wit.  

We have a greater mission on the Fourth of July that extends beyond mere celebration with friends and family. We must consider our duties as Americans to uphold the country’s blessings of liberty, which were bestowed upon us by those who fought back against tyrants. This country’s history is marred by conflict, strife and tribalism, but this history should be preserved — not to divide us but to help us construct a better future based on our collective learned experiences. 

The United States’s future appears to be as bright as it was before to COVID-19. Despite current political and social divisions, we must go beyond the peripheral; it is detail that demands attention for us to fully perceive America’s beauty. If we continue moving forward as one country, “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” we will indeed see that all men are born equal, endowed by the creator with certain inalienable rights. The citizens of this country must come together, because the destiny of mankind still lies on America’s shoulders. It is the burden of being the greatest nation in the world — and it is a responsibility we must never take for granted. 

Armstrong Williams is owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. Follow him on Twitter @ARightSide.

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