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U.S. National Debt:

Freedom: The Heart Of Our Nation

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

The pursuit of freedom inspired countless settlers to brave the long journey to America.  To secure liberty in our nation, American leaders signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  The freedoms cemented by this and other founding charters in our nation's history and upheld by brave Americans are the heart of our United States of America.  Our nation is rooted in the ideal that we are endowed by our Creator "with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  

These rights have been established and preserved at a considerable price.  The fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence put their lives at risk, committing treason against the British Crown.  Our Founding Fathers clearly recognized the value of freedom and the cost of supporting and defending it.  This was evident in the closing line of the Declaration of Independence:  "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."  This commitment has been echoed by the millions of brave men and women who have, and continue to, commit to the service of preserving our freedoms.

Our liberties cannot be taken for granted, especially because of the price paid for them, the desire for freedom in many parts of the world and freedom's vulnerability.  This principle, the very heart of what it is to be an American, is understandably the ideal of many people who "yearn to breathe free."  We must also remain ever vigilant in working to protect our precious rights.

A standard of freedom has been established here in American against which other governments are measured and many seek to emulate.  This American model remains the best form of government and tested restraint on tyranny.  

This Independence Day, we join together with our family, friends and community to celebrate our special liberty.  The freedoms that were established at the core our nation and reverberate to every corner our United States are precious and praiseworthy.  Our liberty is a powerful influence throughout the world, and we have much of which to be proud and commemorate.  I join you in celebrating our freedoms and honoring those who protect them.  I wish you a wonderful Independence Day.  May God continue to bless America.       

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Word Count:  387