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July 4, 1776 – July 4, 2020

July 4th, 2020 – 244 years of the greatest experiment in human history. Representative democracy, a free press, a three-part system of government with checks and balances; the executive, the judicial, and the legislative branches, none being more powerful than the other. This system was set in place almost two and a half centuries ago and it has proven to the world that it is the greatest guarantee of personal freedom, life, Liberty, the right to keep and bear arms, and the pursuit of happiness that has ever existed. Yet, as solid as this foundation laid down by our Founding Fathers is, in their wisdom, they saw that any form of government should, at its best or at its worst, always be a work in progress and thus, it has always been.

Is it perfect? No, anything created by man will never be perfect.

Is it the best? Yes.

In spite of all the shouting to the contrary, there is no other place on Earth that gives so much, so many freedoms and so many opportunities as the United States of America. America was a system of self-governing laws memorialized in the words of Abraham Lincoln “…and that government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.”

That is also why so many millions continue to strive each and every day to come to America. Always remember this, freedom is always held more sacred by those who hold it for the very first time. Perhaps we have held it for so long that many take these things for granted and for some, they do not realize the true value of what they have been privileged to hold in their hands. Millions of Americans who have held its value sacred have sacrificed, fought for and died to preserve and protect this precious gift. Those who wish to disrupt, dishonor or even destroy it, do not truly know or understand the sacred value of the gift they have been given by this “Grand Experiment.” It is the gift conceived and constructed by our Founding Fathers and it is the greatest gift ever given to so many by so few.

There was a time when a man's fate was seen as his own doing, and individual initiative and hard work were seen as the pathways to success. Those principles, those pathways have not changed, but there are now many in America who have changed. They no longer believe in individual initiative, hard work or personal responsibility. They believe that America, this system, this government should give them their successes. And if it doesn't, then there is something wrong with America and our government of representative democracy. They cannot face or admit to themselves that many shortcomings that exist, are not in our system, but often in themselves as individuals.

The Founding Fathers, in spite of any personal shortcomings they may have had as individuals, were still able to create the greatest gift in the history of mankind. As human beings, we are far from perfect. We are the ones who need to be better. We need to live up to the truths, the ideals and the principles that they set before us, not conspire to bring it down.

On July 4th, 1776, our journey, our “Grand Experiment” began. It is far from over.

I have sworn to defend her, to protect her, to celebrate her and with you, just as Abraham Lincoln said over consecrated ground 155 years ago, I also pray to Almighty God that this government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this Earth.

Happy 4th of July. God bless America.

Ernest Emerson           

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