“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence

This Saturday marks our nation’s 244th Independence Day, but today, life in America feels different. As our staff disembarks for this holiday weekend, some will ponder what it means to be an American. We are living in unprecedented times—a global pandemic divides us while our country engages in deep soul searching about the meaning of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In a weekend traditionally filled with large family gatherings and neighborhood parades, many of us will be sequestered, celebrating with our immediate family.

John F. Kennedy called the Fourth of July a “day of recollection and a day of hope,” a sentiment that often gets lost in a day characterized by overindulgence and over-the-top fireworks displays. While we will see many of our holiday traditions upended this year, we’ll make it through these challenging times.

At SRN, we hope everyone finds a bit of respite in this holiday weekend. We also hope that people take time to reflect on our country’s founding principles. Re-read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and make those words ring true. We need to work toward a more equitable and just America.

Let’s hope that the sacrifices we make this year will lead to a more joyful Fourth of July celebration for all in 2021 and beyond.