Every year, the Fourth of July affords us the opportunity to explore what independence really means.
239 years ago in Pennsylvania, after the country had achieved its independence from British rule, the Continental Congress officially declared the country's independence on July 4.
This independence did not come without a cost. Men and women died for something that they believed in, and that something was freedom.
When the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that followed were crafted, I believe that the framers knew that these documents would need to stand the test of time. This country started as a melting pot, and the pot has grown.
We live in a country that enjoys freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
I have traveled the world some, and I have truly enjoyed the customs and culture of other countries. But I wake up every day with an attitude of gratitude for being an American.
The recent events in the news remind us that exercising freedom and independence is not just a privilege, but a duty.