Column: America’s common purpose on the 4th of July

 

Editorial cartoon by Dave Granlund

By Amy Klobuchar – Guest Columnist

Grilling hot dogs and corn on the cob, marching in parades, staying up late to watch fireworks light up the night sky – the Fourth of July always reminds us how united we are. We are united in independence. We are united in freedom. We are united in patriotism, our unwavering love of this nation and the people in it.

That’s something to celebrate, even if sometimes it’s easy to forget – with all the partisanship and division we see in this nation we love.

Our founders faced divisions in 1776 – different colonies, different backgrounds, different religions, even different visions for our democracy. But despite those differences, 241 years ago, they came together, signed a declaration, and changed the course of history.

They knew that there was more that united them than divided them. They were driven by a common purpose, and that purpose was freedom. And they worked hard for it, so that they’re children and grandchildren would be better off.

We’re still doing that today. Just look out across Minnesota and around the country, and we see it happening everywhere.

We see innovators and business owners thinking up new ways to take on big challenges – like preparing workers for the 21st century economy and fixing roads and bridges. We see men and women in the military risking their lives overseas to protect all of us here at home. We see parents and grandparents doing everything they can to give their kids and grandkids a brighter future. We see people who really care – teachers and nurses and engineers and firefighters and law enforcement officers who work hard every day to strengthen their communities.

We see that common purpose. We see America.

So, this Independence Day, let’s make our own declaration: To respect one another and always remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. We are one nation — with self-evident truths, with inalienable rights, with liberty, with justice for all.

I’ll end with this: I was at the Congressional baseball game a few weeks ago, which took place just the day after the terrible shooting at the Republican team’s practice in Virginia.

At the game, with nearly 25,000 people in the stands, we saw that spirit of unity. Everyone stood and applauded when David Bailey, one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the shooting, took to the mound to throw out the first pitch. And at the end of the game, the winning team – the Democratic team – handed their trophy to the Republican team. They said, “Put it in Representative Scalise’s office.”

Instead of two teams, they showed that we are one team. We are America.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

 

Amy Klobuchar is one of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators. More information at www.klobuchar.senate.gov.