WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement to commemorate Independence Day 2020.
“July 4 is a day to recognize our nation’s Declaration of Independence 244 years ago. On this day, we collectively pause to honor the values that make this nation great.
“July 4 also is a day of shared reflection to see how well we have made more tangible the ideals of our founders ‘to create a more perfect union.’ As we look across the landscape of our country today, these words ring with even greater resonance. Our nation and our people face a call to action to continue the fight against racial injustice, an injustice that has limited the freedom of too many for too long.
“The collective ideals to which Thomas Jefferson gave voice in the Declaration’s promise of ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’ still echo through the American experience. From Alexander Hamilton’s immigrant dream, birthed before our nation, to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s July 4, 1965 sermon at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. As Dr. King said, ‘If we are going to make the America Dream a reality, we are challenged to work in an action program to get rid of the last vestiges of segregation and discrimination.’
“America has been and will be a leader in the world. The American people historically have cherished and spearheaded this role. Leadership at any level comes with responsibility and, in this case, it means we must look to put our own house in order, where we must address domestic injustices.
“We must continue our tireless work to create a more perfect union. The struggle will not stop until all men, women, and children can live the American Dream as Dr. King envisioned. To do this, we must continue to assess the true meaning of liberty and freedom. As we begin to acknowledge fundamental elements of our nation’s history, we must recommit to ensuring freedom for all.
“Our country’s strength lies in the diversity and equality of our people. Through this diversity and through this equality, today we may celebrate the unity described in the very declaration of our nation’s freedom and independence.
“On this historic day, we must also celebrate our country’s capacity to change. We have overcome monumental challenges before. The majority of our founders did not comprehend that Black lives matter. Today, we work to ensure that our actions back up those important words.
“Still, as we reflect on the nation’s founding, we recall our past, honor that which is great, and effect the call we perpetually hear to make our nation a more perfect union.”