By Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
When we look to the sky and see fireworks burst over our treetops, grab a hamburger from the grill, watch a parade travel down Main Street, and salute the Stars and Stripes, we do it for a reason. We celebrate the independence that is proclaimed in that historic Declaration, and we remember the sacrifices that our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and all who went before them have made to defend that which no government can rightfully take away.
Achieving independence from Britain was no easy journey for the American colonies, and it was a struggle that continued well beyond the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Blood was spilled to secure those liberties in the Revolutionary War, and again our nation struggled against Britain in the War of 1812 when the battle came to Michigan.
Those events are things of history -- the details that remain are recorded in books and filed away in libraries. But the blessings of the liberty that was won continue to grace us today. We enjoy the freedoms of speech and religion, the Second Amendment, and protections against a government that ignores the will of the people. And we as a state have the power of self-governance -- a power that resides with each and every one of us.
It is important to remember that the government we have created exists to secure our rights and to serve the people. We do not exist to serve the government. As governor, I am here to serve you, the people of Michigan, as we work together to make our state an even greater place to live.
I join with you on this Independence Day in celebrating our freedoms and in remembering the millions who have gone before us in securing those liberties. As we celebrate today, let us pledge to carry on with that tradition of standing in defense of our liberties and ensuring that our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness live on.
The above content reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the policies of the National Governors Association.