Dear Fellow Texans,
Happy Independence Day! I am pleased to join you in celebrating the 241st birthday of the United States of America.
On July 4, 1776, the thirteen original colonies declared their independence and formed the beginnings of a new country founded upon three unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
John Adams, a member of the Continental Congress and a drafter of the Declaration of Independence, shared with his wife Abigail the day’s incredible significance. He wrote to her, “I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games and sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
Soon after he sent this letter, Adams’ prediction came true. The signing of the Declaration was celebrated with concerts, bonfires, and parades, accompanied by the ceremonial firing of cannons and muskets and the first public readings of the revered document. One year later on the first anniversary, Philadelphia hosted the first annual commemoration of the document’s signing, even while the United States still fought in the Revolutionary War.
Today we continue to honor our Founding Fathers and the birth of our nation with annual celebrations of the rights we enjoy as Americans. And as we reflect upon these rights, it is only fitting to give thanks to all the men and women of our military, past and present, who have put their lives on the line to defend our way of life.
May God bless you, may He bless the Great State of Texas, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
Senator John Cornyn
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.