Reflecting on America this 4th of July.

This year, I have a new appreciation for the 4th of July.

Running for office has deepened my commitment to our country and to my community. I’ve learned so much this past year about the hopes and dreams of my neighbors, about what our country means to us, about the promise and possibility of life here, and about the failure to live up to that promise at times.

This Independence Day, more than ever, I am celebrating the people of our nation. The people willing to put their lives on the line to serve. The people willing to stand up for our shared values in the face of broken policies. The people willing to sacrifice time, money, and comfort to contribute to our common good. The people with hope in their hearts for a more peaceful union.

In every era, there are those who to seek to divide the American people, who try to divide us from each other while reaping the riches of this land for themselves. And in every era there are those who strive to redeem the promise of our nation and build a democracy that truly represents all of us.

So as we celebrate Independence Day today and the founding of our nation 242 years ago, we also celebrate our interdependence as a people. The promise of America is not of a nation perfected from the moment of its birth. It is the promise that, through our own experiment in self-governance, we may forge a democracy unlike any other on Earth. A democracy and a nation defined not by shared ancestry, but by shared destiny.

We remember today that it is our destiny as Americans to walk together towards a common future, guided by our duty to preserve the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.