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July Fourth celebrates our nation

The Fourth of July has become a day when most Americans think of fireworks, cookouts and parades, and it is all those things … but also so much more.

We must not forget that this holiday is called Independence Day for a reason.

The historical significance is tremendous as it was the day our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence from Britain and continued down the path toward freedom and democracy.

As Americans and as citizens of the greatest country in the world — although not a perfect one — we owe it to our founders and all the brave men and women who have defended our freedoms with their lives over the years not lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday.

We also must do what we can to educate our youth so that they will associate the holiday with more than just a day off work and fireworks.

Independence and freedom didn’t come easy and have required great sacrifices to defend over the decades. These foundations and the efforts made to achieve them are truly worth celebrating.