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Rep. Carl: Happy Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the hand of the oppressive British monarchy. Two days later, John Hancock, who was the President of Congress, sent letters to each colony and to General Washington announcing the Declaration. It was then read out loud to citizens in celebrations in towns and cities all over the colonies as everyone prepared for a British invasion of New York.

The Declaration of Independence was a unique, defining document framed around freedom and equality. The rights laid out in the Declaration – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – are the most fundamental rights that are gifts from God himself to each of us.

For the past 247 years, our nation has continued marching toward these aspirations as we all do our part to create a more perfect union. Although we don’t always get everything right, and we don’t always agree on everything, I love this country and think the United States is the greatest country on Earth.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed or frustrated with the constant news cycle, political banter, or the struggle to make ends meet and raise your families in peace, but I encourage everyone to slow down this week and remember our best days are ahead.

This country has been through a lot in its nearly 250 years, but I firmly believe we are stronger now than ever before. There is no doubt we are facing plenty of hardships and struggles, but we cannot give up hope or lose faith in this country. We all have a duty as Americans to fight for the preservation of freedom and democracy for generations to come.

As you spend time with your family this week, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on how blessed we are to live in this country and remember we all have a duty to work together to continue building a more perfect union.

Happy Independence Day!

Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.

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