Special to RightWisconsin.

On this 4th of July–Independence Day–Americans all across Wisconsin and our country will celebrate. We will celebrate this beautiful experiment that began 241 years ago when a bunch of colonies came together to declare our independence. On July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence was adopted and this experiment began.

It is a joyful time, and it should be. But we also recognize why this celebration is possible: the men and women–overseas and here in the United States–serving in our Armed Forces. I’d especially like to thank the airmen and soldiers from Wisconsin overseas right now. They are not at home today, but it is their service and sacrifice–today and every day–that allow us to enjoy our freedom. We thank them for a debt we can never repay, but we also recognize the role we all have in keeping this experiment alive. In making our communities stronger, treating all we encounter with respect. Now, more than ever, we need to remember our shared commitment to making this all work.

So to folks from Janesville, Kenosha, Racine, all over Wisconsin, and our country – thank you. You too have the awesome responsibility to uphold and protect what makes this country great. What was written over 240 years ago in The Declaration of Independence must continue to be true:

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.

Powerful words, and a powerful document. To keep these words true, we all must make our contributions. Often it is in small ways, but they matter. It is the foundation of a strong community, a gracious society, and a happy home. We are constantly building–it can never stop–from generation to generation. We pass down traditions, advice, wisdom. This is how we honor the precious gift we have been given: freedom. It was earned through the blood of patriots and it is reaffirmed each day in all that we do. So we celebrate our liberty every year, on the 4th of July, and pledge our continuing commitment to the United States of America.

We should all cherish this opportunity… to celebrate freedom however we want. I certainly do. We can grill in our backyards with our families and our friends. We can go to town and watch a parade with the high school band, the local fire department, law enforcement officers, and other local leaders. This is part the fabric that weaves together towns across Wisconsin and our country. It is special, and it is worth protecting.

This year, I’ll be walking in parades in Milwaukee County. I switch up which parades I attend each year, but this year I’ll be in Oak Creek followed by the Franklin 4th of July Parade.

To me, the 4th of July is a time to reflect on what matters. To me, that is my family, my community, and my country. All of this is possible because of our freedom. So, Happy 4th of July, Happy Independence Day! I wish you and your family the very best.


House Speaker Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District
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