Independence is a funny thing. It fosters freedoms that we are free to forget - and often do.
I'm not talking about the freedom to live the way we want or the freedom to express our opinions. I'm thinking today of quieter freedoms.
The freedom to care for the unpopular, the downtrodden, the maligned.
The freedom to hear small voices and reach out a hand.
The freedom to remind the rest of the world about the forgotten.
Sometimes, walking around in these freedoms is unwieldy and inconvenient. Sometimes it can be dangerous. But always, it is important.
If you are part of a family with military service in its history, you can be especially proud on this day. If you have a loved one serving in the military now, you and your family make special sacrifices most of us cannot understand. The soldiers among us - old or young, active or now civilian, stateside or overseas - are too often among the suffering, the lost, the downtrodden. Sometimes they are the quiet and needy.
To these people, we say thank you today, although those two well-worn words are pitifully insufficient.
Independence is a funny thing. It fosters freedoms that we are free to forget - but not today.
God bless all of you who have gifted us with freedom and independence.
God Bless America.