"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
This week many of us will gather with friends and family to celebrate the 4th of July with cookouts and fireworks.
But let's not forget that we are also celebrating America's Independence Day.
When the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776,
we declared our freedom and our choice to be governed through democracy.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rightsthat among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
There were many battles fought and many lives lost to give us these rights.
Without them, we wouldn't have the freedoms we hold so dear.
We can choose our religion…
We have the right to free speech…
And everyone has the opportunity to freely cast his (or her*) vote.
In many parts of the world others still have no such rights.
It's something we should never take for granted.
So as you celebrate this week, take a moment to reflect on all the possibilities these freedoms provide you.
We live in the greatest country in the world in which to pursue our dreams.
None of us should ever waste that opportunity.
We hope that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.
Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.