On the Fourth of July we celebrate the birth of our nation, a democratic nation dedicated to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We celebrate the birth of a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people, dedicated to serving the people and not the state. We celebrate Freedom.

On this holiday during the last few years, I have reflected upon how fortunate we are. This year will be no exception because tyranny did not die when the American rebels successfully repelled England.

We take for granted many simple activities because we have had our freedom to do so. We assume and declare Freedom as an unalienable right, but this is not the case elsewhere. Millions of people throughout the world live under totalitarianism. People are imprisoned without just cause. Miranda rights or due process doesn’t exist. Dissent and original thought are forbidden in these oppressive wastelands. Governments dominated by evil men are not for or by the people. They seek only to control and destroy if necessary. Human life means nothing. Civil wars, starvation, concentration camps, genocide, and lack of adequate medical resources, oppress many. People are burned or beheaded by savage terrorists for their religious and political beliefs. Tolerance is dead.

The Fourth of July is now upon us and soon shall be history. Enjoy the colorful and breathtaking fireworks as well as the wonderful concerts on television or available at local venues. Think about old friends you met in life and new friends you made as time marched on. Enjoy the delicious food and drink on your tables as you celebrate the birth of our glorious nation.

The next time you take a walk along M Street Beach, pause and gaze upon our beautiful flag located in the Hicks Memorial Park right next to the Boston Harbor Yacht Club. Reflect upon your human condition. Be happy you’re an American. Count your blessings.

Freedom is a priceless gift. Never forget that although every single person on earth should be free, they are not. Never forget with evil lurking throughout the world we must always be ready to defend our country. Never forget the lessons of the past or take liberty as a given. And, honor those who died throughout our nation’s history so we can enjoy freedom, families and friends.

As a nation we have survived for over two hundred years, and as long as Old Glory is waving in the wind, we are reminded (even with our own shortcomings from within) that America continues to thrive as the world’s greatest country.

Never forget that!