By: Senator Elizabeth Dole
On July 4th, we celebrate 238 years of freedom first won by the members of a young nation who banded together in support of a higher cause. Americans left behind their shops, schools, farms, and businesses to join a military that bore the cost of that freedom against near-impossible odds. The families of our first service members followed units from battle to battle, to cook and care for the wounded. At home, their loved ones sewed uniforms, prepared supplies, and supported the units passing through their towns.
The independence we enjoy today cannot be credited to the actions of just one institution, leader, or the military alone. Our liberty and unalienable rights were secured by an entire nation, fully and passionately engaged in the pursuit of freedom.
Today, when we talk about the costs of remaining a free nation, we rightly revere the honorable men and women who voluntarily serve our country in uniform. However, we often overlook the heroic sacrifices of the 5.5 million Americans—spouses, mothers, fathers, and other loved ones—serving as military and veteran caregivers for those wounded from war in homes across the nation.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government had been formed. He replied, “A republic…if you can keep it.” On this Independence Day, let us all do our part to protect the rights our early brothers and sisters worked so hard to secure in founding our republic. Let us band together again to support our military, help our veterans in need, and lift up our hidden heroes caring for the wounded at home.