A compilation of Independence Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians:
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:
When our nation declared its independence 239 years ago, there were few who believed the American experiment would succeed. Through the genius of our people and the power of our founding principles, our nation has not only endured, it has risen to define two centuries of world history.
For those of us born in America, it can be easy to forget how special this nation is. I was raised by two parents who could never forget, because they knew what life was like outside of America. They had grown up in a country where the circumstances of your birth determined what you could achieve. My parents raised me to believe that in America, anyone can achieve anything.
The election before us is a defining moment in our nation’s history. It is the moment our generation must decide not just what laws we will pass, but also what kind of country we will be. This election is about honoring our history while embracing our future. It is about applying the principles of our founding to the challenges of our time, so we can extend the American Dream to more people than ever before. This can only be done by turning the page on yesterday and embracing a new generation of leaders.
On this 4th of July, I wish you a happy, safe, and meaningful time with family and friends. As we reflect on the freedoms that make America unique, we must also reflect on the sacrifices that were the price of those freedoms. Let us keep all the men and women fighting for our country today, and their families, in our prayers. They are a reminder that our country is strong, our people are safe and free, and our future is bright.
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham:
Today is a time to celebrate our freedoms and the values that make America great.
As we enjoy our time with family and friends, we spend today reflecting on our past and looking forward to our future.
Our country’s struggle for independence paved the way for the American ideals our country continues to embody: hard work, freedom and opportunity for everyone.
We are responsible for creating a bright future for our nation, and together, I have no doubt we can see that vision become reality.
So please Peter, take a moment to thank those who have sacrificed so that we may celebrate our country today.
I wish you and your families a wonderful and safe Fourth of July. And please, grill responsibly.
God Bless America.
U.S. Rep. David Jolly:
As you celebrate our nation’s independence with your family and friends this weekend, I encourage you to take a moment to remember and honor all those who have fought for our nation’s independence, as well as the men and women who are currently serving at home and abroad to keep us safe.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater:
This cherished holiday weekend is a time to relax with our loved ones, but perhaps more importantly, it is also a time to celebrate the principles of freedom and equality that our country holds dear.
In a diary entry, John Adams once wrote: “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
Indeed, America is unlike any other nation in that it was founded on a vision. Our Founding Fathers made tremendous sacrifices to create a country that embodied the ideals of independence, opportunity, and freedom from tyranny. However, this freedom is not free, and it must be fought for and continually defended. As we get ready to celebrate with our family and friends, let us take a moment to reflect on the 56 patriots whose dedication to the principles of liberty allowed America to flourish and become one of the greatest nations the world had ever seen. Let us cherish and enjoy the blessings of independence, and honor those who made this celebration possible.
We must also take a moment to honor and thank the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who risk their lives daily to preserve and defend our freedom.
Attorney General Pam Bondi:
This Independence Day, let us celebrate the extraordinary freedoms and opportunities we embrace daily as Americans. Our Founding Fathers courageously risked their lives signing the U.S. Declaration of Independence 239 years ago, putting our right to freedom before all else. For centuries since, brave men and women of the Armed Forces have served and given their lives to ensure that same liberty endures. Should you see a member of the military this July Fourth, remember to thank them for their selfless service in protecting our independence as a country and as individuals, preserving our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
State Senator Thad Altman, via Twitter:
Let us remember what unites us as Americans and remain thankful for military men and women who defend the freedoms we hold so dear.
State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto:
Independence Day is a day when we come together as Americans to recognize and celebrate our exceptional nation, and its foundation of democracy. Our founders bravely came together 239 years ago in Philadelphia to change the course of history as they signed the Declaration of Independence. This was more than merely a symbolic method of voicing their discontent, it was the beginning of the freedom that we enjoy to this day.
Let us celebrate an idea that captured the imagination of those brave individuals, which was the birth of an ideal that continues to inspire the rest of the world to this day.
May we also express gratitude to the men and women in uniform who have and continue to sacrifice greatly to protect our many freedoms. These freedoms are the cornerstone of our great country which continues to attract individuals from across the world in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
I encourage us all to take a few quiet moments this weekend as we see a passing parade or our American Flag flying high to remember the opportunities we enjoy daily and often take for granted.
Join me in passing down our rich traditions and remarkable history by sharing stories and pride with your children and grandchildren, so future generations will understand the legacy of those who came before us.
Best wishes for a safe and joyous Independence Day with family and friends!
State Senator Jeff Brandes:
Though it’s been over 200 years, the principles upon which our nation was founded still hold true today. We are truly blessed to live in a nation that promotes personal freedom and the free exchange of ideas.
Tampa Bay offers many ways to celebrate our nation’s birthday, and with no shortage of fireworks, Bay News 9 has put together a listing of all the events. But most importantly, please celebrate safely and responsibly.
From my family to yours, I wish you a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.
State Senator Don Gaetz:
Though our nation declared our independence over 200 years ago, the Founding Fathers’ principles still ring true today. The United States stands as a beacon of liberty; a nation that promotes the free exchange of ideas and and still offers the American Dream to all who are willing to earn it.
This year I’ll continue my tradition of narrating the patriotic “I Am The Flag” alongside the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra during the Seaside fireworks show. The concert begins at 7:15 PM at the Seaside Amphitheater, and you can find the event details here.
From my family to yours, I wish you a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.
State Representative Bryan Avila:
State Representative Bob Cortes:
On Wednesday of this week, I’m proud to say that the All-American Flag Act officially went into effect. American flags purchased to fly in public buildings across the state will now be made in the U.S.A. This is a simple, but important thing to do to honor the freedom the flag represents and the hardworking Americans that keep this country going.
Tomorrow, we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Soon after it was signed, John Adams famously wrote to his wife, Abigail, that July 4 “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
That’s exactly the kind of celebration I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I hope that in the midst of your parades, picnics, and fireworks, you’ll join me in taking a moment to remember the ideas in the Declaration of Independence.
In a speech marking the 150th anniversary of the Declaration, President Calvin Coolidge said, “It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history.”
America is unique. No other nation in human history has been founded on the idea that all men are created equal and have been endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I feel extremely blessed to call this country my home, and I pray that the principles of limited government and individual liberty that have made our nation great will continue to endure.
I know you do, too, and I thank you for your support as we work together for a stronger state and nation.
Happy Independence Day!
State Representative Dane Eagle:
As we join family gatherings and enjoy festive celebrations complete with fireworks, let us pause to celebrate and give thanks for that historic day in 1776 when men of resolve came to a crossroads of conviction. From that moment, the Great American Experiment has been transforming the world.
America is not a word; it is a cause, a way of life, a challenge and a hope in the world of turmoil. On days like this, we recognize the brave sacrifices of America’s fallen soldiers, who showed by their service that freedom is not free.
We know that bad things happen when good men do nothing. Thank God for the good men and women who resolved to do combat for this country and our ideals.
Whether inward or outward, the light of Americanism has shined favorably. The windows of history are forever etched with the imprint of Americanism. And even today Lady Liberty continues to lift her lamp beside the golden door. The world is a different place because the tenacious thirst for liberty that consumed our Founders has been propelled across land and sea.
Freedom is the right of all people and America is her flagship.
In 1982, Ronald Reagan made a statement that I believe confirms the commitment of America to bring this ideal to the world. He said:
“I don’t know all the national anthems of the world, but I do know this: The only anthem of those I do know that ends with a question is ours, and may it ever be thus. ‘Does that banner still wave ‘o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’ Yes it does! And we’re going to see that it continues to wave over that kind of country!”
Today, we pledge allegiance to a nation that embodies the Founding Fathers’ vision for an indivisible republic. We pledge allegiance to a nation that guarantees liberty and justice to all. We pledge allegiance to a country that gives us one nation under God.
Tyrants and terrorists come and go. Recessions and economic conditions ebb and flow. But what I believe will stand the test of time is the spirit of America.
For as long as God allows, let the Stars and Stripes wave over this: our very own land of the free and home of the brave.
God bless America and those who defend her still today.
State Representative Jeanette Nunez, via Twitter:
Let us not forget those who paid for our freedom & lets proudly celebrate our nation’s birth. May God bless the USA!