our view

On Independence Day, we urge Americans to take time not only to celebrate, but also to recognize the responsibilities of citizenship. There’s no free ride here.

Americans enjoy relaxing on the Fourth of July, firing up the grill, perhaps visiting a lake or pool and enjoying fireworks. But on this day of relaxation and celebration, remember freedom doesn’t come cheap. 

We honor those who serve in the military, both now and in the past. Some of them gave their lives for our freedom and we must never forget that.

But that’s not the only way to serve your country. Everyone needs to do his or her part to make this land a better place to live.

That comes through voting, obeying laws, volunteering and letting your elected officials know where you stand on issues that matter most to you.

This July 4 and every day, don’t just celebrate your right to free speech but also listen to what others are saying, even if you disagree with them.

We have seen discontent in Washington. Our state legislature is battling with big issues including fixing a broken prison system. Even here in Tallapoosa County we seeing great things happen but still struggle to get on the same page at times. 

This holiday we should remember the strength that comes from uniting rather than dividing, doing what’s right for everyone instead of a select few.

It’s not just about independence, but also about interdependence with other Americans — including people who might not look or think like you.

What makes our country great is not a politician with a cool slogan. Our country is great because of its people — past and present — who do everything in their power to keep our freedoms in place.

Enjoy your rights, but remember American citizenship is not a one-way benefit. We pay for the rights and privileges we have as Americans with our taxes, our active participation in government and stepping up in our community.

We here at the Outlook wish you all a very happy and safe Independence Day.