Independence is much more than a word or a concept to celebrate with fireworks, picnics and live music.
It is a lifestyle that we, as residents of the Heart of Virginia, should embrace on a daily basis.
While it’s important to celebrate our independence as a United States from rule of the crown, it’s more important that we utilize our rights as human beings and Americans to identify what independence means for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.
Because of independence, we have the freedom to walk down main streets in downtown Dillwyn and Farmville wearing a T-shirt supporting any candidate, idea, person, religion or way of thinking we choose.
The freedoms we have enable us to make decisions regarding our children’s future, whether it be sending them to public schools, home-schooling them or allowing them to attend a charter or private school.
American independence allows us freedom of thought and expression, some of the most coveted and revered freedoms that we have as U.S. citizens. The government, whether it be state, federal or local, under the law of the land, is prohibited from restricting our opinions and views.
The liberties we have empower us to seek elected office to represent our neighbors, regardless of the color of our skin, creed, religion, socioeconomic status or opinion.
For these freedoms and liberties — our independence — men and women have died and continue to face the guns of war and conflict to keep us safe from rule of tyranny, dictatorship or autocracy.
Amid the political divisions in our nation, and even in this commonwealth, we’re blessed and privileged to be American citizens.
I encourage all Americans — especially those living in the Heart of Virginia — to exercise our rights as independent Americans, whether it’s believing in a certain religion, loving a certain person, wearing a certain T-shirt or seeking a certain political office.
God bless America.
JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Jordan.Miles@FarmvilleHerald.com.