Independence Day is America’s crowning achievement that has endured the test of time. Today’s political landscape and non-stop coverage has some of us discouraged on the fate of the nation. After a career of serving in our armed forces and daily interaction with our district residents, I am not discouraged at all. Political battles have been a fabric of our nation since our humble beginning, but citizens that value personal liberty and freedom have been the stitch that has held that fabric together. I will never forget a true lesson in freedom provided by an Air Force ROTC leader on campus while I was waiting to attend USAF pilot training. The cadets where gathering in the day room to discuss our reaction to some students that decided to burn the American Flag in front of our dormitory. As you can imagine, short of violence, we were ready to put a stop to this. This commander told us that our country is the greatest in the world because of the brave men and women who fight for a constitution that ensures someone has a voice that we vehemently disagree with.
I have been fortunate to fly the F-15C for our Air Force in multiple countries along with living in multiple foreign countries. I can attest- we are not the only ones who think we are the greatest country on earth. The success we have had as a nation is directly attributed to individual citizens that continue to hold dear the personal liberties and individual freedoms we built this country on. Political institutions do not make us great, you do. I have yet to meet anyone in our county that doesn’t have the same aspirations that I do. The ability to pursue my own concept of happiness, provide for my family, and serve our fellow citizens. It’s in our blood and any student of American history knows that we will always strive to secure individual freedom. That is Patriotism at its core and our district is full of patriots. Thank you from my family to yours.
The Cartwright Family
Proud citizen of Okaloosa County
(The author, Tony Cartwright, is the Vice Chair of the Northwest Florida Libertarian Party)