The 4th of July has always been a huge celebration in our country to commemorate our independence from England so many centuries ago. There are parades and cook outs and fireworks galore. Many people travel at this time because the kids are out of school and the holiday allows for an extra vacation day. But I can't help but wonder whether the true meaning of the holiday often gets lost in the midst of this lazy, hazy day of summer.
I guess as the years pass, I can't help but appreciate so much more the freedoms and independence that we have in this country. We can believe and practice whatever political and religious and personal beliefs that we hold. We have a host of benefits that are realized from free competition in the marketplace and the ability to own our own businesses as part of our free enterprise systems. And one outgrowth of this that I have come to appreciate as a breast cancer patient is that I have options for treatment and reconstruction that women in other countries do not know and may never be able to access.
As I connect with more people from around the world, I have found that many people have little or no opportunities for cancer treatments let alone reconstruction after surgery. We are so fortunate that as a result of our free enterprise system, companies are constantly working to find a cure for all types of cancers and are constantly exploring new treatments to increase survival rates with new medications and treatments. We are finding that more and more people are beating the odds and living lives that have a far better quality than that which could have been imagined only a few years ago. These opportunities are the results of the freedoms that we have in this country that others may never know. To me, this is what our forefathers fought to secure for us so that we have the lives and the futures that we are seeing today.
So, for me, this year on the 4th of July, I will be celebrating in a rather different way. I realize and recognize that we have a free country and a free society that our forefathers secured for us but there is so much more that they have done for us that is usually not recognized. Our free enterprise society has provided me with a life and a lifestyle that many can only imagine. I have the opportunity to obtain food and shelter and just about anything else that I care to obtain from an open marketplace. I can secure a job with an income that is suitable for me if I am willing to study and work hard when I am given the opportunities. I can create for myself the perfect life for me because of the freedoms that we enjoy in this country each and every day.
Therefore, this year on the 4th of July, I am not only going to celebrate our country and all that we have endured as a nation in order to secure and maintain our freedom but also all of the rights and opportunities that we enjoy as well. We are just so fortunate to be Americans and for me that is certainly worth celebrating.