July 4th has always been a very special day for me personally, and for all true Americans. It is a day for barbeques, family, fireworks, and of course, patriotism. It is a day to celebrate the freedoms we have as Americans and also to look back proudly over the history of our great nation.

On July 4th, 1776, the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. By doing so, The United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain, the most powerful nation on Earth at the time.

By doing so, these men put themselves, their families, and their lands in grave danger. However, they realized that living free as a united nation instead of colonists governed from afar was worthy of the risks of British intervention.

George Washington led our brave soldiers against the forces of the crown in the name of freedom. It is only through their ultimate sacrifice that America can enjoy the freedoms that it does today.

Though we eventually won our freedom, it would continue to be challenged throughout our proud history. The British would invade again in 1812, The Mexican Army challenged us in 1848, and we almost fell apart as a nation during the Civil War. Freedom across the globe was challenged in both World War I and World War II, where the brave men and women of The United States Armed Forces fought across the globe to defend our country right here at home. During the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant threat, America stood ready to defend our nation against the aggressive communism of the Soviet Union.

And here we are today, still fighting abroad in the Middle East, to ensure freedom under the constant threat of terrorism.

Thankfully, our nation has always stood strong. Patriots such as Pfc. Douglas E. Dickey have put country before self. Marine Pfc. Dickey, from Darke County, was killed in action March 26, 1967 in Vietnam when he fell on an enemy grenade to protect his fellow marines. He was one of three brave Americans from Darke County to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. The House recently passed legislation to name the intersection of State Route 47 and United States Route 127 in his honor.

Undying patriotism: this is what America is all about. While enjoying your Fourth of July celebrations, please remember the patriots such as Pfc. Dickey. Let us honor our past, and continue to build upon the foundations of our brave founders.

May God Bless you and your family, those who have served our nation, and may God Bless the United States of America.


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