“[Today] Arizonans and Americans will commemorate our Nation’s proudest, most significant anniversary – the day the United States declared its independence and established the freest republic on earth.
“It was 236 years ago that Thomas Jefferson – from the small, unassuming brick house in which he resided, sketched the blueprint for the greatest country the world has ever known. The Declaration of Independence, though born from humble beginnings in a quiet room across from a stable, is to this day the document most critical to America’s endurance as a Nation.
“For more than two centuries, citizens of this great country have been blessed with liberties and inalienable rights that make us truly and uniquely American. Over the coming days, let us take the opportunity to reflect on these freedoms – paying special tribute to our founders, whose courage and wisdom transformed sovereignty from vision to reality.
“In light of recent weeks’ events, recognition of the Declaration of Independence – and its relevance to today’s America – has never been more important. Remember that our forefathers’ signatures on this document were a pledge that our Nation would forever be guided by liberty and self-government. If nothing else, the Declaration stands as a compelling reminder that – in a republic such as ours – governments must always derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We must always show respect for the rule of law that distinguishes our government from one of divine right. These principles, though too often lost on us today, are just as crucial now as they were in 1776.
“I encourage you, amid your Independence Day festivities, to take an opportunity to re-read the Declaration and to recognize why we celebrate this day every year. I am hopeful that you never take for granted this document nor its promise and purpose. We also should take a moment to offer our gratitude and prayers for the men and women of our Armed Forces who risk their lives daily to defend our freedoms. Finally, let us remember to honor our local law enforcement and firefighters whose everyday sacrifice and service keep us free and safe at home.
“I wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday. For the rest of the week, please join me in waving the American flag proudly in commemoration of the greatest Nation in the world.”