This weekend, people across Ohio and the United States will pull out the grill to cook out, enjoy fireworks, and attend local fairs and festivals all to honor the day this nation declared its independence. While enjoying the long weekend with friends and family, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday and how it has impacted the lives of generations of Americans for the past 240 years.

On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence, a document signifying the separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain and the founding of the United States of America. After 240 years, the significance of such a historic moment can fade from memory. However, it is important to remember our country’s origin and the ideals on which it was founded, as our daily lives still reflect the freedoms our ancestors fought for.

Many are familiar with the phrase “No Taxation Without Representation,” a slogan coined before the war for independence that symbolized Americans’ desire for a voice in their government. Thus, citizens of the United States today enjoy being a part of a democratic republic where they are able to vote for elected officials to represent their views at the local, state, and federal levels of government. I am proud to be a part of the republic that has endured for over two centuries as your state representative.

Americans today are also fortunate to enjoy the many freedoms that inspired the patriots of the Revolutionary War to break away from Great Britain. The United States Constitution grants each of us such freedoms of speech and religion. Even today, many nations do not allow their citizens these rights, while Americans have the ability to freely express their views and opinions. Without this right, our country would not be the prosperous and diverse nation it is.

All in all, the Fourth of July is an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and reconnect with your community. With local parades and events happening all over the state, the weekend provides a chance to get out and get involved with the festivities. I hope that as your community comes together to celebrate the independence of the United States, you are able to appreciate everything our great nation has to offer. Happy Independence Day!

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