In the grand scheme of things, 236 years is barely the blink of an eye. Yet in the past 236 years, we've gone from a small group of 13 colonies under British rule to an independent nation the rest of the world looks to in everything from medicine to pop culture. This week we celebrate our nation's birthday with fireworks, barbecue and family get-togethers. And as Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, "it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." As a nation, we have much to be thankful for and proud of. Despite our differences, what Tocqueville called "the great American experiment" works and is the envy of oppressed peoples in other parts of the world. So my message to you on this important week is simple: don't take it for granted. The outcome of the Revolutionary War feels preordained to us with the benefit of 236 years of hindsight, but the odds were against the Founding Fathers and the Continental Army. And if you need a reminder of just how fortunate we are to be here, look to Gettysburg. Look to Normandy. And look to Arlington. I'm Vanessa Oubre and that's my take. What's yours?
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