As a national holiday, Americans celebrate the 4th of July each summer with considerable fanfare: fireworks, cookouts and family gatherings are all part of a great summer traditional that is now so firmly woven into the fabric of our way of life, we can take things for granted and forget why we even get to celebrate Independence Day in the first place.
After the Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution for the legal separation of the original Thirteen Colonies from the British Empire in 1776, John Adams predicted that Independence Day would be celebrated by succeeding generation as the great anniversary festival…commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God…solemnized with pomp and parade…from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward and forevermore.
But the annual celebration we enjoy with such aplomb today did not come easy. It took eight years of bloody revolutionary war to overthrow British authority and found the United States, which has since become the greatest democracy and force for good the world has ever known.
We ourselves are children and grandchildren of immigrants. Many of our forbears came to this great land because they were escaping the oppression of tyranny and poverty. Our freedom of religion and separation of Church and State – our freedom to practice our cultural way of life without fear – were also a primary motivation for them to uproot themselves and travel across the Atlantic Ocean. They knew America was a safe haven, so they came.
And we owe so much of this to the courage of American servicemen and women, who have fought and died so valiantly on our own shores, and in so many parts of the world during time of global conflict, wherever and whenever peace and stability have come under threat.
America has suffered almost 3 million casualties defending liberty and justice since the time of the Revolutionary War. Without the bravery and bloodshed of American troops, America – and the world – would be a very different and far more dangerous place. Even today, as we watch tragic events unfold in the Middle East; as we witness the horrors of extremism spilling over from that troubled region into Europe and, more recently, onto our own soil, we have American armed forces and law enforcement to thank for our continued security. They are the ones who protect and guarantee our way of life.
So as we celebrate the 240th anniversary of Independence Day, let us be mindful of our history; let us honor the memory of our fallen soldiers; and let us be thankful for the ongoing vigilance of our active-duty troops, reservists and police officers; for their service and implicit willingness to pay the ultimate price to preserve the freedom we cherish and hold so dear.
The Rangos Family would like to wish the Green American community a Happy 4th, and express its profound gratitude to our wonderful men and women in uniform for the dedicated service to our country: God shed His grace on thee, from sea to shining sea.
The Rangos Foundation actively supports various institutions and programs which benefit education, healthcare, and humanitarian causes all over the world.
Duquesne University, The Rangos School of Health Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
CMU Information Networking Institute Cooperative Exchange with Athens Institute of Technology
Carnegie Science Center
The Rangos Omnimax Theater
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
The John G Rangos Sr. Research Center and John G Rangos – Massimo Trucco Diabetes Center
Johns Hopkins University – The John G Rangos Sr. Life Sciences Building and the John G Rangos Sr. Professorship of Adult Medicine