A Common Patriotic Spirit

Rep. Tom Cole

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) of the Chickasaw Nation shared his thoughts on what Independence Day means to him.

This Independence Day, like all others, we are reminded that America’s story is still unlike any other. Each chapter written thus far in our history has revealed a common spirit of patriotism, ingenuity, perseverance and hope. That distinct American spirit is alive and well because of the countless men and women who dreamed of liberty, fought hard to secure it and resolved to preserve it.

On the Fourth of July, we are grateful to celebrate another year as a nation, and we rightly remember those who, in response to abusive and tyrannical rule, set in motion the great American experiment. After failed efforts to peaceably resolve issues between the colonies and the British king, several brave individuals dared to lead a campaign for independence. The defining moment came on July 4, 1776 with the Declaration of Independence that founded the United States of America.

However, British oppression did not end simply after the brave declaration penned by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Livingston. Other courageous individuals joined the fight to uphold American independence. During the Revolutionary War, much blood was shed on both sides. But determination and belief in the cause emboldened those brave American patriots to stop at nothing short of victory. Today, we get to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices through the unique freedoms they envisioned for individuals and the system of government they established. Both have stood the test of time.

Certainly, our beginnings were not easy, but favor and divine providence shone upon the United States. Two hundred thirty-nine years later, many other nations around the world admire all that we stand for and even seek to emulate it. Unfortunately, on our nation’s most precious day of celebration, we’re also aware that our enemies are numerous and eager to harm both us and our allies. When the terror alert is raised, it’s a sobering reminder that freedom is not free. The fight to preserve our freedoms and defend liberty must remain under our careful watch at all times. For our service members who have pledged their lives and those who lost their lives to protect what our Founders discovered, we are most grateful.

Our story is still being written, and it will continue to be told. The United States of America was meant to be unique. When our Founders conceived the framework for a new nation 239 years ago, they grasped just how special America could be. Since then and over the course of different generations, 50 distinct yet unified states have joined in agreement.

On this Independence Day, we give thanks to those who fought to establish our Republic, as well as those who have given their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to preserve it.

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