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Mon, Nov. 18

Column: American unity trumps partisanship

Two hundred and thirty five years ago this Fourth of July, our founding fathers exhibited immense courage when they signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. They did not just put their names on a piece of paper; they put their lives on the line to stand against tyranny and stand up for liberty and freedom. To celebrate the Fourth of July is to celebrate this declaration of freedom and everything that it stands for, both then and now. It is to celebrate life, to celebrate liberty, and to celebrate the pursuit of happiness.

We must not forget the heavy price that has been paid for our freedom. In writing and signing the Declaration of Independence, these men pledged their "lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to be the vanguard and voice of a people. This beginning paved the way for a nation that has provided freedoms in a world where few had such freedom. This nation provided a path to prosperity for millions. This nation provided hope and sanctuary to millions across the globe. Without the initial Declaration of Independence, none of this would have occurred. We all owe our founders profound thanks for creating the path we now walk.

This Fourth of July, I would like you to think of our forefathers, those who fought and died to create and defend a way of life many of us often take for granted today. Remember the righteousness of these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." It is not government that created our rights; it is God. Our right to live as free citizens is not something that can be taken away by a law.

Yes, our government has problems, and yes, we don't always agree with each other, but it is important to remember what Thomas Jefferson said: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." We are not partisans or groups. We are all Americans first.

It is a true honor to represent you and the First Congressional District of Arizona in the United States Congress. Many true patriots have walked the halls of Congress and protected the greatness of our nation, and I am humbled to stand for you and your concerns in Washington.

It is my hope that this Fourth of July that each of you spend time with the ones you love and reflect how blessed we are to be Americans. Renew your commitment to work on solutions that will rebuild this country.

Finally, remember those who have led, fought, and died to secure our rights as citizens of this great country. Let freedom ring. God Bless you, God Bless our troops, and God Bless America.

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