Next week, our country will celebrate its Independence Day with parades, fireworks, BBQs, and gatherings with family and friends. While Congress actually voted for independence from the British Empire on July 2, it took two days of debate before the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on July 4, 1776. Since then, our country has undergone seasons of prosperity, unrest, strength, and war, all the while attracting the attention of the world. The opportunity that our country provides attracted two of my grandparents, both of my parents-in-law, and my brother-in-law over the past decades to leave their home countries to seek a better future, so I am always proud and grateful on July 4 to live in America.
I was asked to speak at the US Institute CEO Roundtable conference last week in Washington, DC, and stayed not far from the White House. The morning of my presentation, I took the opportunity to go for a run (more accurately, a jog) by the White House, the Department of the Treasury, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall - landmarks of our country’s history and independence. Each offered a strong reminder that many have fought for our country in ways big and small, many have led our country in ways grand and subtle, and many have traded their lives for the freedoms of the rest of us. In the midst of the hot dogs, red-white-and-blue decor, and apple pie, my family and I will be grateful to live in a country of people with bold ideas, diverse backgrounds, and a focus on a better future.
Happy Independence Day from our family to yours.