Two-hundred thirty-six years ago today, the proud men and women of the United States banded together as a nation to declare independence. These trailblazing Americans rose up against powerful foreign interests, asserted their right to organize and successfully expanded the basic liberties of each individual to form our nation.
Since 1776 we have been called upon numerous times with many making the ultimate sacrifice to protect our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whether the threat comes from foreign lands, powerful interests or abhorrent ideologies, we must always pick up the gauntlet and strike back for freedom. To stand up for the oppressed and build our nation as Union Ironworkers have done for one-hundred sixteen years.
While celebrating the birth of our nation is a festive time for us all, I cannot help but think of the uncanny resemblance between the loss of workers’ rights in America today and the grievances that prompted our forefathers to establish a new nation so long ago. Is not the stripping of collective bargaining rights from teachers, firemen and police officers, and our right to organize an assault on liberty? Are not plunging wages, loss of healthcare and no retirement with dignity an assault on life and the pursuit of happiness?
As we spend time with our families this Independence Day, let us think of the brave visionaries that we honor today. Let us think of the tools they established to insure our continued liberty – the power of the ballot box and our precious right to vote. If we truly wish to celebrate our heritage and honor all those who have sacrificed in the name of democracy, then register to vote and cast your ballot for candidates who support worker rights, who support our right to form a Union and to bargain for a better future.
We care about our families, our communities, and we love our great nation. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July and thank you for helping to building our great Union.