Many folks know me as the executive director of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, a position I’m proud to hold. Few folks, however, know about my passion for history. In fact, both my under-graduate degree (Go Pack!) and my graduate degree (AppState!) are in history. As I think about what Independence Day means to me, I’m reminded of perhaps the most famous passage from the Declaration of Independence: 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, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Independence Day (unfortunately most now regard it as 4th of July Weekend) is rightfully and appropriately filled with patriotism – flags, fireworks, hot dogs, parades, apple pie. This is good, actually it’s great. We need to celebrate the founding of our great nation. I also think we need to reflect on the meaning of these Rights. I know our founding fathers valued hard work, opportunity, and charity. I’m also certain they’d be disappointed in many of our nation’s current struggles, especially homelessness. So, as I enjoy the fireworks over Mount Holly tonight, I will also recommit my efforts to ensuring all citizens in our community have the opportunity to experience our nation’s founding belief in Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Happy Birthday America and God Bless!