Freedoms key to observing the Fourth |

Freedoms key to observing the Fourth

Today marks a century since the first Fourth of July after the end of World War I.

In honor of that date, we turn to the July 4, 1919, edition of The Record-Courier.

In it, Publisher Bert Selkirk recounts the events that led to America’s involvement in the war.

“The Kaiser’s mad dream of world rule was back of it all, and how the Americans turned the tide of battle and brought victory to the allies is known to every American, and the achievement evokes the highest praise for the American soldier who fought for world independence.

“The principles for which our boys fought and died came into being on July 4, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence received the assent of the delegates of 13 colonies, thus dissolving their allegiance to the British crown, and declared themselves free and independent states.

“Thus today we celebrate this great event, the birth of a nation that has fought for the free and independent liberties of all the peoples of the world. Today, we salute the grand old flag of the United States and do honor to those who conceived this liberty loving nation.”

Estimates are that around 1.2 million people have died in combat during all of the United States’ wars out of the 42 million who have served during wartime.

Without those sacrifices it’s unlikely that the United States would have survived to the present day.

Whatever your political persuasion, today is an excellent time to reflect on the freedoms that allow us to hold a multitude of beliefs and positions.

It is also a good time to remember that not everyone will agree about some topic or other all of the time, but to remember that being able to talk about what we believe, despite sometimes being disagreeable, is something we should all agree with.