Murkowski Statement to Alaskans On Independence Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today offered the following reflections on the Fourth of July:

Hello, Friends.  This 4th of July, we celebrate the 235th anniversary of our Nation’s independence.  With the full swing of summer upon us, I hope the generosity of Alaska’s long days has provided ample time for outdoor fun and social gathering.  Parades and barbeques are perhaps the most visible reminders of how we celebrate freedom in our communities. And we do fireworks in our own unique way, despite the late-night sun.

But there are also more solemn reasons why this national holiday is important.  For over two centuries, America has stood as living proof of the concept of democracy our founding fathers envisioned and a beacon of hope for others thirsting for freedom across the globe.

Here is one truth that we hold to be self-evident: America is simply unlike other nations.  Borne of the idea that a collection of states could be built on the consent of the governed, our experiment in democracy is alive and well today.  The lure of the American Dream explains why people wait years for the chance to become a citizen.  No equivalent of the American Dream exists anywhere else and the values we cherish are an inspiration for change outside our borders where the indignities of hardship persist.

But as we take a moment to appreciate all that we have, we must never forget the cost of freedom.  Thousands have given their lives to secure the blessings of liberty.  Men and women in uniform are serving bravely overseas, enduring tremendous sacrifice, while countless others guard our shores and defend our skies here at home.  Their burden is shared by the families who endure empty spots at the dinner table, missed birthdays, and absence for rare life moments like a child’s first steps.   Freedom is indeed perishable and we’re grateful for those who safeguard our liberty for our children and grandchildren.

As Alaskans, we share a unique brand of patriotism, perhaps the purest kind.  We treat our armed forces better than any other state, we honor our veterans, and the freedom the fight to defend.  On this Independence Day, I am honored to represent Alaska in the United States.

***Note to broadcasters: For airing purposes, Sen. Murkowski’s remarks are available at http://bit.ly/jCRJ4e  ***