Fourth of July is the most important day in American history. Not only did the Declaration of Independence legally create the United States as an independent nation, the Declaration embodied our noblest ideals and highest aspirations – our beliefs in liberty, equality, opportunity, rights, and democracy. These ideals serve as our guiding light as we strive to form a more perfect union.
And we as a nation have come a long way. Many rights and freedoms we enjoy today were obtained because generations before us had the foresight to fight and preserve them for future generations. Our government has also played a major role in protecting many of these freedoms as it works to “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare.”
This Fourth of July, here are four freedoms we are thankful for:
- Freedom to form and join a union.
We are thankful for our freedom to join together with our coworkers to form a union to improve our lives. Unions touch everyone in this country whether you are a union member or not. Unions, for example, led the fight to establish the eight-hour work day, end child labor, and legislate workplace safety requirements. Unions have been instrumental in securing major labor and benefits laws such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and minimum wages. Unions also provide checks and balances against tyranny in the workplace.
If you haven’t joined a union, join us today and help protect our freedom to assemble for petition of grievances.
- Freedom to breathe clean air and enjoy nature.
We are able to breathe the fresh, clean air of liberty – literally, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency. As our country has evolved and our population has grown, the job of the EPA is even more important. The EPA makes sure that the air we breathe, the rivers we swim in, and the land we build our houses on are safe and free from pollution. And thanks to the National Park Service which protects and maintains our national parks and monuments, we’ll be able to enjoy Yellowstone, Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, and other national parks for generations to come.
- Freedom to live and prosper in safety.
Safe communities don’t just happen; we create and maintain them. Air travelers are safer today than before, thanks to TSA. Because of the Bureau of Prisons, the most dangerous criminals are kept behind bars and off the streets. Thanks to the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, drug and human traffickers are stopped at our borders and shores. The Defense Department protects all of us against aggressive forces outside our borders. America prospers when we can raise families, go to work, and build a life for ourselves knowing that those who protect and serve are on watch.
- Freedom to lead a healthy life.
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Thanks to the Department of Health and Human Services which funds all kinds of research to find cures to diseases, Americans now live longer – 25 years to be exact – and enjoy a healthier life. One of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century was a decline in death rates from heart disease and stroke, which account for 40% of all deaths, due to development of prevention interventions and improvements in therapy. HHS is not the only government agency that helps improve public health. The Department of Veterans Affairs has also played a major role, not only for veterans but for everyone in the country and around the globe. The VA, for example, successfully implanted the first cardiac pacemaker developed by a VA team. A VA doctor performed the first long-term successful kidney transplant and conducted the first human liver transplant. Even more, Defense Health Agency employees tend to our active duty servicemembers are the world each and every day.
What freedoms are you thankful for?
If you cherish these four freedoms like we do, let’s join together and protect them. Call your members of Congress and ask them to protect our public health, safety, and security by fully funding our government.