A salute is a gesture of respect, homage, or recognition. As we prepare to celebrate Independence day, I'm stopping to pay homage, to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the many blessings of being a United States Citizen.
Many of you know of my political interests in U.S. and Oklahoma policy. You may also know that I am a fiscal conservative and for that reason I am a registered Republican. I have very dear friends and family that are registered Democrats that for 364 days a year I am glad to engage in debate and philosophy.
For today, I only want to bow my head in a prayer of gratitude that I am the recipient of a tremendous blessing. I am a citizen of the United States of America.
I wasn't born in the United States. I was actually born in Stuttgart, Germany. My father was serving in the Army in West Germany so I am a naturalized citizen.
I have always been fascinated by our government. I was the top American Government student in my fresman year of high school, and I tested out of my college course for credit.
I am fascinated by the resolve of our forefathers:
"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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness"
I often consider the amazing design of the government...the checks and the balances...
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I am trying to lead and run a business. Sometimes I face incredible challenges but nothing compared to leading a nation. I'm awestruck by people who faced this incredible challenge with such courage and skill.
We are a young nation still making mistakes. We fought a terrible Civil War and many of our actions haven't been "stellar." There are many who disagree with our domestic and foreign policy today.
You and I can debate and argue policy between ourselves and with others. Isn't that wonderful? We have voices and opinions that will not be silenced.
Every day that I read about oppression in both history and current world affairs, I always stop to express my gratitude and pray for those whose voices are not heard.
Every day I will give thanks that I live in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.