Fourth of July!

To all Americans home and abroad, happy independence day! Please take a moment to read a very special post from one of our unbelievable staff members, Jamie Stacy.

The 4th of July is a Holiday celebrated with anticipation, all across America. We all share the common experience filled with BBQ’s and Fireworks. But it means so much more than that...

Growing up in rural, upstate Averill Park, NY, I have clear memories as a four year old of sitting in a stroller, beside my family, in the middle of the Empire State Plaza of Albany, NY to watch the fireworks display. Strangely enough, I was not amazed at the colors and shapes in the sky. I was terrified. I spent the entire two hours under my blankie, waiting for it to be over.
But now, I look forward to lying out on a blanket in the middle of a park and being enchanted by the beauty of the fire in the sky, and inspired by what it means…

What many Americans do not know is that July 4, 1776 is not the day we won our independence. It is not even the day that we declared our independence from Great Britain. It is actually the day that the Continental Congress approved the final edits and revisions of Thomas Jefferson’s drafts. The actual document was not signed until August 2. 

The experience for those who pored over the document that now lives in the Archives of Washington, D.C. was likely more tiresome and tedious than the idealized visions that we might imagine. Yet, the painstaking hours leading up to that final approval were distinctly important. They established the foundation for an unlikely triumph that, to this day, is the most significant development in our nation’s history. 

Today, I took a moment to read the text that drove the farmers, merchants, businessmen of an infant country to come together in a five year battle for liberty. Citizens became soldiers because of the sentiments detailed in one document. Those future signers motivated a course of action for all Americans to unite and ultimately form the greatest nation on earth. The 4th of July marks the reason we call ourselves Americans today.

It is now July 4, 2014. We have no fear of losing our liberty. We have no need to raise arms in the face of deplorable injustice. The scariest decision some of us make today may be whether or not to peek out from behind the blanket in order to see the fireworks. But, this is only because there are those who are continually fighting and sacrifice on our behalf.

There is another important fact that many Americans do not know. Our livelihoods, for which we fought to fervently as a nation to gain in the Revolutionary War, is protected by less than 1% of the American population, our service members, veterans, and their family members. 

Today, let’s all take a moment to think about what it means to be an American, rather than a British Colonist. We not only have endless opportunities to define our individual destinies, we also have a say and an impact in the destiny of our country. Even though we are now an all-volunteer force, let’s not forget the citizen soldier of where we began, and how all Americans contributed to the defense of our nation. Let’s think about the importance of why and what it means to uphold this country, which originated from the words of the Declaration of Independence.

Four years ago, Major General Alan B.Salisbury, with his team of visionaries, finished the revisions of another text. The “Code of Support,” as it is titled, is not a proclamation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is an avowal of support for those who ensure the rights that we hold so dear, and it calls the American people to action once again.

The bravery of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces is commendable. But they should not have to pay the cost for our freedom alone. As Director of Community Integration and Partnerships at Code of Support Foundation, I work with an incredible team every day to ensure that those who protect us receive the honor and recognition they deserve. This is a far cry from where I once sat, hiding under a blanket.

Our fight for our liberties will never be over. So, I ask you to join us and sign the Code of Support today. Think about the reasons behind the writing, uncover your eyes, and continue building on the work that was started over 200 years ago, by taking action to support our troops.

We are not all soldiers anymore, but we are all still citizens. We must continue to stand for our country, and behind those who are still fighting for it.

Happy Birthday America!
Jamie Stacy
Director of Community Integration and Partnerships
Code of Support Foundation