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Today, take a break from everything in the country that's making you want to scream. 

However you feel about Democratic presidential candidates or President Trump in North Korea, whichever argument you support in the border debate, regardless of your thoughts about Supreme Court decisions or the Cubs and the Cardinals, put those on the burner furthest back. They'll still be there tomorrow morning.

Today is a day to take a break from all that troubles and irritates you. Today, join in a 24-hour celebration of the United States. That can be any United States you see – the one from the past, the current one, the one you want it to be or the one it can become.

The Fourth of July is the day that can make you feel like summer can go on forever, and forever can consist of meals of hot dogs, burgers and potato salad followed by time lazing by a body of water, whether that's Lake Decatur or your backyard's kiddie pool. The day, celebrated right, can be remarkably pleasant. 

How much of that pleasant feeling can be credited to the national pride instilled in us from an early date as we're told about the unlikely and almost impossible task accomplished by the representatives of the Second Continental Congress. Their efforts and creation of the Declaration of Independence powerfully set forth in a clear voice the principles we consider dear even today.

Theirs was a vision that gave birth to great prosperity and power, a country that created Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., baseball, women’s suffrage and the Harlem Renaissance. Those we elected to Washington made the U.S. into the most commanding nation in the world. Our military members ensured, through sacrifice and sometimes their own lives, that our families are safe.

In the context of the world's history, our country is still a youngster. Every once in a while, we have growing pains. We're in one of those stretches now. Pay attention to what's going on. Just as we relied on the ever-dwindling number of World War II veterans to remind us of ultimate sacrifices, future generations will rely on us to tell the story of what's going on now.

The one thing we have to look forward to is that every time we have fought through trials and tribulations, we have come out the other side for the better. We inevitably end up with progress that makes us better. Very few 60-year-olds would want to be 60 in the year that they were 30.

A birthday marks the end of another stretch of growth. Happy birthday, America. All of us.

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