We have all been fortunate enough to see another 4th of July this year and celebrate the birth of our great nation. Through perilous times and tests of our patience, perseverance, and faith, we have continued to come together as Americans when it has mattered most. However, there are still some things I would like you all to consider today as we reflect on our own freedom:

Remember the indigenous people of America who are the true founders of our nation that continue to fight for their rights to the land they have loved for centuries.

Remember the LGBTQ+ community that continues to fight for freedom in the workplace and in our society. They want no more nor less than the rest of us, only equal.

Remember the Latino-American community, the fastest growing minority group in the nation. They continue to provide our society with a beautiful sense of culture and diversity and do the jobs no one else wants to do.

Remember the Muslims, Jews and all other marginalized religious groups who seek to uphold the freedom of religion our Constitution guarantees. We are all lucky to live and practice our beliefs in a place like America, let us try and keep it that way.

Remember the disabled and mentally ill people of our country who give us hope to continue fighting through their own struggles. Their battle should continue to serve as a beacon of perseverance.

Remember our soldiers who have given their lives to fight for our freedoms. Their sacrifices should never be in vain.

Remember the women of our communities who work harder than anyone to continue to provide and support our families and loved ones. Remember that during the time of the writing of the Constitution, women were considered inferior to men. Today, some of the most brilliant, humble and caring individuals I have ever met are the women that continue to be icons of our society.

And last but certainly not least, remember the African Americans of our society. A group of people who built this country by their own bare hands. A culture that has survived the turmoil of the last 241 years and continued to evolve into an identity for millions of people to connect with. While I will always be grateful for our Founding Fathers, I will never forget the trials and tribulations Africans went through to create our America. As slaves brought from their homeland, they were forced to do the dirty work that gave our country a reputation. It is so convenient that we never really learn about this group of people as we grow up. From a young age, I have always been taught to admire the works of men such as Washington and Jefferson, but rarely in school did we touch on the brutality of slavery and the impact of the work those people did on America. They have done more for our country than any of us could have ever dreamed of. Let us never forget their contributions today.

For those that continue to question the pride in our country due to its complex history of racial and cultural prejudice, look for other outlets of patriotism such as Juneteenth, which although has already passed, serves as a day to remember the emancipation of slaves.

Have fun and be safe this 4th of July, keep your loved ones in mind and be thankful for the freedoms we do get to have in this country. There is still a lot of work to be done until we have total equality, but I know that one day our country will be able to become the nation of freedom it was meant to be.

Happy 4th y’all.