The July Fourth weekend offers an opportunity for all of us to appreciate those who founded our great country. It is hard to imagine the wisdom and courage of folks like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and over 50 other great men who constructed and signed the Declaration of Independence over 230 years ago. Reflecting on the sacrifices that our forefathers made for our freedoms, it makes me reflect on those who are continuing to serve our country today and sacrifice everything for what they believe in, as well.
I am struck in the Declaration of Independence with the calm objectivity our founders speak of the offenses against them. These men were not hot-headed rebels. Most had extensive family and commercial ties to England. It was with great reluctance and extensive discernment that they listed their grievances and proclaimed this ultimatum to King George III.
Those who know me appreciate that I am a problem solver, not a historian. However, as I walk with very small footprints in public service for a state that was birthed years after the bold actions of our founders, I feel challenged to live up to the great standards they created for our country and our leaders.
I am blessed to have been raised in the latter part of the 20th century where women, as well as men, have been able to pursue their dreams, where slavery is long in our past, where great strides have been made to welcome diversity, and where we have maintained our freedoms even in a world where extremist acts such as 9-11 make them increasingly difficult to protect.
We have much to do in our state and country to ensure the freedoms the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights articulates for a great nation and a great people. We must strive to stay the course, to straighten the course when we veer off the path, and to allow our Divine Creator presence in our lives so that He can guide us and our leaders to selfless decisions that provide the greatest good to Americans; while also respecting our role as leaders and good neighbors to citizens in other countries around the world. As a state leader, I am committed to live by and protect the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and our own state Constitution. Thank you for the privilege of serving.
May your July Fourth holiday be a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but also a time to remember those who conceived and fought for this great country we call the United States of America.
Happy Birthday, America!
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)