As Free and Independent States … we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.” — The Declaration of Independence
I love America. And I cherish our many freedoms. Standing on the USS Midway, leading an “Honoring the Fallen” program at the American Freedom Festival this past Memorial Day, reaffirmed how proud I am to be an American — and how deeply grateful I am for the sacrifices made on my behalf.
But this 4th of July carries with it a special challenge. The celebration of our independence comes against a background of growing division and divisiveness. We are a nation torn and deeply divided by partisan politics — more so than at any time in recent history. In the battle of “Us v Them,” of “Red v Blue,” of “Fox v MSNBC,” Americans who disagree with us are automatically dismissed as “unpatriotic,” and considered “the enemy.”