American values, future, always worth fighting for


Every Fourth of July, whether I’m watching fireworks on the Ohio River with my son or walking in parades talking to Hoosiers, I’m always struck by the enthusiasm for our nation’s birthday. From the streets of our nation’s capital to small neighborhood parades, Americans far and wide come out to celebrate our national holiday.

Without fail, it’s an exhilarating feeling to be a part of our annual celebration of what it means to be an American and to meet those who have fought for our freedom to celebrate. Hoosier veterans, servicemembers, and their families are a constant reminder of the sacrifices that are made every day enabling us to live safely here at home.

For generations, our country has fought to preserve the liberty and values this country stands for. Last month, on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I had the honor to spend the day with World War II veterans at the Lawrence County Government Center. It was on D-Day 75 years ago that our brave troops pushed back a threat of doomsday and fought to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. That the next generation would be free. The reason we lead the world — the reason America is the greatest country on Earth — is because of our willingness to serve.

When I return to Washington after holidays such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, having spent time with those who have served and do serve our country, I think of Thomas Paine’s words on the value of our freedom:

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

Our country must be fought for but also worth fighting for. Every generation of Americans has bravely faced threats from abroad and challenges from within. Today, our troops are fighting for peace in the face of terror, and back home we are grappling with how to ensure the next century is an American one. Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day in the name of the very words we celebrate today: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That’s why, in Congress, I work every day to ensure our country’s policies reflect the values that our men and women in uniform are fighting for:

Freedom to spend your hard-earned paycheck for your family, not give it all to the government;

The opportunity to turn an idea into a Fortune 500 company, not be limited by government overreach;

The freedom to think differently from your neighbor without persecution or stigma;

A doctor-patient relationship without the government signing your prescription;

Essentially, the ability of every American to pursue their American dream.

Today, on the Fourth of July, I’m reminded that our American values, the freedom and independence we declared 243 years ago, are always worth fighting for.

U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth is a Republican who represents the 9th Congressional District, which includes Johnson County and a large section of south-central Indiana. Send comments to [email protected].

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