We need to exalt clearly what we celebrate on July 4th; it is not car sales, it is not the moronic political statism and the progressivism nonsense that we see spewing from our federal government today. On July 4th we celebrate a moment—perhaps the most important moment—in the history of mankind, when liberty, freedom, gifts from God were defined as rights for all mankind. In that same moment, the protection of these divine rights became the mission, vision, and work for all future generations of this—the greatest country in the world—the United States of America.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams, who would later become president of the United States, wrote the following to his wife regarding the upcoming signing of the Declaration of Independence: “Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among men. You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man …. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day's Transaction.”
Today, the American firefighter is on the front lines of the fight for liberty and freedom. We saw the prophecy of John Adams words come true on 9/11. But there will be more toil, more blood, and more treasure spent in the defense of freedom and liberty. We can expect as firefighters to be in harm’s way as we continue to proclaim fearlessly that our freedoms come from God. They cannot be taken away by terrorists who play on fear or government officials who play on our wickedness, but rather only if, sadly, the strong are ever outnumbered by the weak, the lame, and the lazy: ingrates who will readily give up freedoms for security, and those are wretched people have no place in the American fire service.
We firefighters should remember that President George Washington gave us this warning to consider as he left the presidency: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.” Maybe our current politicians would do well to study more of our history and less of the public opinion polls. Our national leaders should do more to defend liberty and spend less time campaigning. We understand Washington’s analogy better than anyone, and we will continue to defend our fellow man against all types of fires. We need men like Washington, a leader who refused to be named king, and not men who desire to rule and be treated like kings. On this 4th, tell every politician who shakes your hand that you support term limits and want national term limits imposed on all federally elected positions. No more kings—we have had enough!
Thomas Paine once said, “Some writers have confused society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them. Whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. For Society is produced by our wants and Government produced by our wickedness.” The American fire service was produced by our desire for society, our need connect with our fellow man in a meaningful, productive, and supportive way. We must always remember that we are the greatest example of man's humanity to man. We must celebrate it on July 4th and boldly proclaim that we recognize that God has endowed us with certain unalienable rights, among those being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Originally, our founders had said "the pursuit of property," which could be interpreted as being successful, which should make you happy. We, this generation of America's firefighters, today are charged with protecting life, property, others' successes and attainments, God’s gifts to mankind, and by doing so we are America's defenders of liberty. To you, my fellow brothers and sisters, the most fortunate sons and daughters of liberty, I wish a happy, safe, and blessed Fourth of July. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.