Independence Day is an important day for all

Published 7:09 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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First off, I’d like to thank the Almighty God for my adopted country, the United States of America. As an American of Filipino ancestry or lineage, I’m so grateful and proud to be contributing to the beauty, legacy, and greatness of America. 

I thank you, America, for having given me the opportunity to serve you. I pray, as always, “God bless America! May you continue to be the beacon of hope and symbol of freedom and democracy, independence and liberty, justice and equality for all.”

The Fourth of July is more than a celebration of commercial sale events for businesses (big or small), corporations or companies in all 50 states that contribute to the U.S. economy, in general.

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It’s not only a day off from work or school, but a special one spent with family and/or friends, visitors, guests and even neighbors, barbecuing, cooking out, picnicking,enjoying concerts, fireworks, having fun together, sharing each other’s cheers and jubilations, dreams and even frustrations and politics.

It’s a celebration of life, of unity, and thanksgiving to the founding fathers of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and all veterans of war and peace, alive or deceased, active or retired, or reserve.

July 4 is an important historical observance, an event that made and continues to make the United States of America a great and powerful country. As a free, independent and democratic country, she has had the freedom that is so unique from the rest of the world since July 4, 1776.

As the so-called leader of the free world, America obviously represents the world as evidenced in her multi-diverse population. Since she has become the melting pot of many races, her beauty and greatness can be attributed, not only from her material or natural resources but from her people who love to be free.   

It’s a fact that freedom is what every human being aspires, desires, dreams or wishes to have. But, even if God has given each and everyone the right and freedom to live when they were born, not everyone is living free and independent. Due to circumstances beyond their control and understanding, there are people in the world who are not free and independent. These people are under the control of their autocratic or dictatorial leader. Thus, it is this freedom that helps liberate others, and makes America unique, great, powerful, and wonderful.

It’s this freedom that many Americans have fought and died for, and cherished for generations to come. It’s this freedom that leads America to help free other nations from oppression and abuse of power from their leaders who are autocrats and dictators. It is this freedom that sets others free and independent. Yes, it’s this freedom that perpetuates liberty, democracy, justice, equality, peace and order, and the rule of law for everybody.

July 4 is an annual national holiday celebration of freedom and liberty, a commemoration of the United States of America’s Independence Day, from England, for all Americans both here and abroad. It’s also celebrated by non-Americans who are freedom-lovers and keepers, and taxpayers, and who have lived here and/or her territories outside of the contiguous United States for years, awaiting for their immigration paperwork or documents to be processed or approved to become naturalized U.S. citizens. 

There are people serving in the U.S, Armed Forces who are not yet citizens. They’re permanent residents, though. I believe they also want to be U.S. citizens someday to fully serve, defend and protect her while they continue to contribute to and help shape America’s future. That’s commendable. They do what they can to help protect and preserve the freedom they so cherish and enjoy. They’ve served and are still serving in the military. Others have died in defense of this nation. 

There are veterans of different wars and conflicts who have never waivered their support and conviction of protecting our country and her allies. They and other public servants have pledged their allegiance to serve America and defend her liberty and freedom without reservation.

These freedom, liberty, independence, justice and equality, and the pursuit of happiness are embodiments of democratic values in the United States of America. These are what make America a beacon of hope, a paragon of all that is great, ideal, beautiful and powerful.

In celebration of America’s 247th Independence Day, I recall an immortal speech from a Virginian-American lawyer, planter and politician turned famous orator Patrick Henry, who said, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forgive it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

Happy Fourth of July!


-Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk and Chesapeake. Email him at