In the lifetime of every person and every nation, some days rise to the point of needing to be remembered and celebrated. These are days that can be pointed to as crucial to the existence, quality, and continuity of that lifetime.
I have some extraordinary dates. I look to the day Deena and I were married in 1976. It was a watershed day, worthy of being remembered. I can only thank God for leading in the lives of both of us for this special occasion. I also remember the birthdates of our children. Those are days that changed the world for me.
While it is not always the case, none of these special days came without warning or preparation for me. Each one of them was anticipated with eagerness. It is also true that each one was followed by tremendous joy, but also some degree of uncertainty and sadness. No life is exempt from trials and difficulties.
Birthed through sacrifice and trials, the certainty of freedom for our great nation wasn’t guaranteed. The day of July 4, 1776 was a seminal moment. It was personal for those who took a stand. I believe in the United States of America. Each July 4th, we celebrate the official decision to become a new nation. That date in history changed the world from then until now, and into our foreseeable future.
I don’t want to think about what the world would be like now if the United States had not been established. If we not grown into the nation we became. Of course, we have made mistakes. From our leaders down to each citizen and guest, we have all made mistakes in our interpersonal relationships. As a country, mistakes have been made in our associations with other nations and peoples.
I have lived and worked in eight countries outside of the United States. There are many others I have visited for shorter periods. I talked with the peoples of these nations and learned that many individuals worldwide look up to our country and its citizens. They love and aspire to the freedom we have built not only for ourselves but for many of them. From the individual citizen to the admired and feared military, to the business people and political leaders, there is no other country that has blessed the freedom of as many other peoples than has the United States.
Happy Birthday, America! May God continue to bless you and to use you for good throughout the world.