MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

July 3, 2014

We are more alike than different

Happy Birthday, USA!

Today should be a day of celebration for the freedoms and rights provided by the greatest country on Earth.

It should be a day when we enjoy family, friends, picnics, and fireworks.

It also should be a  day when we reflect on how lucky we have it here and how grateful we are for all the men and women who fought to maintain our freedoms.

One of the most precious rights we have is freedom of speech.

Congress can’t make laws abridging that freedom.

That means you can’t be thrown in jail by the government for disagreeing with how this country is run.

(Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean that you are free from any consequences from speaking your mind. Don’t believe us? Go tell your boss what you really think of him and see if freedom of speech keeps you employed.)

Please consider today the importance of freedom of speech.

Please remember those who fought and died for your right to disagree with your government.

Please consider that Republicans and Democrats gave up their lives so we could disagree.

Please remember that the flag represents us all, not just the reigning party.

Please remember we are human beings first. We are all citizens of the United States.

Political party affiliation should be way down on the list of how we define ourselves.

Because regardless of how you feel, we are all in this together.

Cooperation, compromise and civility will keep this great nation afloat.

Politics divide us too much.

We can disagree, but that should not make us mortal enemies.

We should be able to embrace our similarities before we are torn apart by our differences.

We all want what is best for ourselves, our families and our nation.

But that is what your neighbor wants, and their neighbors, and their neighbors ...

When you see those fireworks tonight, remember they represent the “bombs bursting in air” that forged this nation.

We can make this world a better place — together.

Let’s strive to make this next year more civil in our approach to governing.

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