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Alan Williams: Freedom … worth the fight!

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Happy Independence Day!!!!!

We all hope for an America that celebrates the foundational principles of freedom. Today we celebrate the bedrock principle upon which our nation was built 239 years ago: FREEDOM. If we take a look across our community, state and nation you will find a strong spirit of independence and freedom that flows through us as a great nation.

America’s great experiment in liberty and independence has continued to stand the test of time and the freedoms we celebrate remain as timeless now as it did on July of 1776. As we spend time with our families and loved ones to celebrate with parades, barbecues, family gathering and fireworks, I hope you take a moment to remember the reason we celebrate and to thank those who have sacrificed the most to safeguard our freedoms.

Our nation has faced many challenges over the years; however, no matter how great the challenge before us the American spirit has given us the necessary energy to face all obstacles head on and overcome. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creation with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This statement concisely sums up the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the affordable care act and marriage equality. The United States Supreme Court is resolute in its determination that no American should face discrimination based on access to healthcare or who they love. The sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence have motivated Americans to accomplish great things and make tremendous sacrifices, all in an effort to make sure future generations of Americans have the freedom to determine their own path. Freedom is a right we should not take for granted. Although our nation continues to move toward a more perfect union, not every American enjoy the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The Voting Rights Act guaranteed Americans the most fundamental right to vote. I am proud that I sponsored legislation that will allow citizens to register to vote online. We must continue to fight against voter disenfranchisement laws, fight for equal pay for women, and for the automatic restoration of rights for non-violent felons who have serve their time and paid their debts to society.

As we celebrate, Independence Day, continue to keep the victims of the Mother Emanuel AME Church, their families and the entire community of Charleston, South Carolina in your prayers. Let us be encouraged in watching how Charleston came together during these moments of intense grief as an example for people around the nation on how to respond to the worst of tragedies.

The Fourth of July is a time for patriotism, and there are no greater patriots than those who have served in the armed forces. Let us reflect on the sacrifices that are made by the brave servicemen and women in uniform at home and abroad who risk their lives fighting for our freedoms. We are forever grateful to them and will continue to pray for them and their families.

I wish all Floridians a Happy Fourth of July!

Be safe, have fun and wave your flags proudly in commemoration of our nation’s freedoms as we celebrate America’s birthday. Happy Birthday America!!!

State Rep. Alan Williams represents House District 8, which covers Leon and Gadsden Counties. Williams is the ranking member of the Economic Affairs Committee.

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