When you hear the words “Fourth of July” are you thinking barbecues, beaches and family get-togethers? Or are you thinking that the holiday will pass you by this year since you are spending it caring for your ill and elderly patients? In either case, July Fourth has a deeper meaning you should be careful not to forget as you enjoy the day.

It’s easy to take American democracy for granted today. After all, we were all born into a long tradition of freedom and rights, such as freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. But our Founding Fathers fought hard for these rights; they gave up the relative comfort of British rule and declared the United States an independent country with freedom for all, even without knowing if they could withstand the mighty British army.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence put their principles above their own safety to create the first modern democracy. They fought hard and debated for months on how to form a fair government that served its citizens instead of a government which was served by the common people. They made it possible for all Americans to vote, practice any religion and have the right to a fair trial.

When the first Americans declared independence from the British Empire, they weren’t focused only on setting up a new government. They were also dedicated to providing independence for each individual. It may have taken a few hundred years to get it right, and we may still have a way to go on some of the issues, but the success of the United States and the American people testify that independence is something to be treasured and nurtured.

Even if you are working on the holiday, we hope you will take some time to appreciate the greatness of the American nation and the value of independence.

Happy Fourth of July from Towne Nursing!