the bombs bursting in air,
gave proof through the night,
that our flag was still there.
Celebrating the 4th of July, those words of Francis Scott Key inevitably come to mind. The American experiment is 241 years old and our flag is still there. The stars and stripes are recognized around the world as a symbol of self-determination, freedom and inalienable rights.
On July 4th we often think about the members of our Armed Forces – our warriors – as we should. Many of our troops are in harm’s way while we celebrate. But it is our warriors and our citizens in common cause, doing what each could, that gave America its independence and has safeguarded our freedom ever since.
It is still true today, our military can’t do it all alone. A strong and free country takes us all. Last year I was asked by Kori Schake and Jim Mattis to write about this in their book Warriors and Citizens, an examination of the gap between our Armed Forces and the society they serve.
My contribution, Chapter 10 of Warriors and Citizens, is titled: A Model for Connecting Civilians and the Military. It’s about our experience with Spirit of America and the importance of giving our citizens a meaningful, impactful way to connect and to help. I firmly believe that when we are working together there’s no more powerful force for good than the American people.
On the 4th of July, I hope you enjoy the parades, picnics and celebrations, or just a day off. And, while you recognize the brave men and women who are serving abroad, please take a moment to consider what you’ve done, and what you can do, to help.
Land of the free and the home of the brave! Live it. Love it. Keep it going.
and the Spirit of America team