4th of July – Stand Up For America!
Karen and Jay share thoughts on ‘Proud to be an American!
On this 4th of July, the holiday when we celebrate the birthday of our great nation, I am terrifically proud to be an American. To stand up for America and all that we have achieved. A nation that has created more freedom and more prosperity for more people than any other nation that has ever existed. Based on values of justice, equality, families, communities, hard work and a positivity – an optimistic view that our brightest days still lie ahead.
This year our nation is at a pivotal moment in our history. The last few months have tested our values and our courage in ways we never thought possible. We’ve been forced to make unanticipated changes and adapt our lifestyles for the sake of protecting ourselves, our families, and our communities. While we may be enjoying this holiday differently with more subdued celebrations, this 4th of July is a reminder of our historic resolve as a nation. Never in our great history have we faced a challenge and turned our back to it. We have always chosen to remain steadfast in our belief as Americans that we will persevere and overcome whatever it is we face.
This 4th of July, we must unite behind our shared values, and use this moment as an opportunity to invoke our uniquely American resolve. In doing so, we can set the foundations for a new chapter in our history and once again overcome adversity to build a stronger, positive future. This 4th of July, the promise and strength of our great nation keeps me eagerly optimistic for what our future holds and most importantly, forever proud to be an American!
We Stand with Hong Kong and Those who Fight for Freedom
This week the ‘crackdown’ has begun. Communist China has begun the annexation of Hong Kong and the ruthless subjugation of its people. Suppressing all dissent – with arrest and lifetime prison sentences for all who dare to freely express their views. We as Americans must be awakened to the growing threat from China – and do all we can to support the courageous people of Hong Kong in their fight for freedom. On this July 4th, let’s unite in the cause of freedom.
As many of you may know, Beijing recently passed a national security law that has the real aim of suppressing the Hong Kong freedom movement. This is a hallmark of Communist oppression, where they suppress free speech and the right to assemble. While the warning signs about this law were obvious, unfortunately the free world sat still and did nothing.
Now we are seeing the fruits of the law. We have our first draconian arrests. What crime did this person commit? They were waving a flag that said, “Hong Kong Independence”. Sadly, news broke later that a second individual had also been arrested under the same pretenses. In fact, passed only on July 1st, there were more than 300 such arrests in the first day of the law taking effect.
We have a moral duty to stand up for freedom around the world. It is my hope that the United States acts quickly with our global partners to help support the people of Hong Kong. We cannot continue to sit idly by while the Chinese Communist Party continues to oppress its own people and now annex the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong. This in direct violation of the 1997 Treaty with Great Britain. China is not our friend. This communist nation is bent on world domination and has a stated long term commitment to achieve it. This is a struggle for freedom, and it is time we answer the call.
When Small Businesses and Small Towns Come Together
Some great news out of my hometown of Newport! It’s always wonderful to see generosity and community spirit come together. Especially when it can also involve fun outdoor activity.
Well, that’s exactly what has happened this past week in Newport. Trusted Rentals, a heavy equipment and tool rental company located in Newport, is helping the community by improving a popular recreation area in town. An area that offers access to fishing in the historic Sugar River and several miles of snowmobile trails. Their donation includes resurfacing the parking area and a granite bench and will be a perfect place for outdoor fun.
This is a great example of community minded spirit. Where the owners of a small business who really care about their community can take action that will truly make a difference. Perfect timing for July 4th weekend – kids and families will have access to a great fishing spot and some fun outdoor activity. How great is that!
It’s the generous initiatives like this one – by Trusted Rentals in Newport – that happen at the local level in thousands of communities across our great nation – time and time again – and weave the fabric of our great nation. Hats off to Trusted Rentals – and all of the other community minded businesses who give back to our small towns and communities.
Positive Profile of the Week: Teddy Roosevelt
I am so very proud to profile one of our greatest Presidents this week – in fact, one of the greatest Americans of all time – President Theodore Roosevelt. I love his commitment to our country, his positive ‘can do’ spirit, his sense of adventure, his willingness to ‘step into the arena’ and more. And rather than concentrate on his policies or politics, I’d like to emphasize
how we can learn to live by his example.
As the youngest man to ever assume the Presidency, Teddy Roosevelt never deviated from his convictions, passions, and promises. As a young man with asthma, people said he would live a short life, with much of what he wanted to achieve out of reach because of his poor health. Through the power of the human spirit and an extensive exercise regimen that he maintained at his father’s gym, Teddy grew to face his health challenges head-on and made his health a priority. I recall a story where Roosevelt hosted a delegation visiting from France by scheduling a day of exercise, physical events, and more. Following the series of events, a member of the delegation said he was too tired to debate any issue and would never question the good intentions Roosevelt held.
When tragedy struck and his mother and wife passed away at almost the same time, he did not retreat. Instead he resigned from a cushy cabinet job in Washington and founded the ‘Rough Riders’ - a cavalry regiment that fought heroically during the Spanish-American War. He put his zeal for country ahead of his own well-being – even leading the charge up San Juan Hill. He returned home a great war hero.
When things are tough, don't retreat. Re-group, re-strategize, re-purpose your energy and put it to good use. Always on the go and forward-thinking, this was Teddy’s mentality. Something to aspire to that ultimately led him to the Governor’s office in New York, Vice Presidency of the United States, and finally, as President of the United States.
Our national park system saw one of its greatest expansions under Roosevelt. The wonder that is the Panama Canal was constructed during his presidency. He dramatically expanded the capabilities of the U.S. Navy. And not to be outdone, his role in achieving the successful end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Prize.
Teddy kept his eye on the prize (literally one eye because he lost significant vision in the other eye during a boxing incident at the White House, when struck by one of his sparring partners in 1908.) Never retreating, always driven. His relentless energy and tenacious action created positive change. In these times today, Teddy is an incredible example of what we can continue to strive for, exemplified perfectly in one of his many quotes:
"We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage... For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out."
Quotes of the Week: Proud to be an American
“ I'm proud to be an American, Where at least I know I'm free, And I won't forget the men who died, Who gave that right to me.” - Lee Greenwood
“America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.” - Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” - President John F. Kennedy
“We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.” - Author Mark Twain
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” - World War II Director of the United States Office of War Information Elmer Davis