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Hello, this is First Lady Ann LePage.

Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a time to celebrate the values that we as Americans hold dear.

Our forefathers believed that each and every one of us have certain unalienable rights, which among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Throughout our nation’s history, we have carried these values with us in everything we do. In times of peace and in times of war, these principles have guided us. These principles have resulted in the greatest nation history has ever known, the United States of America.

We are all Americans first. This bond can never be broken, and is held through our love of country, and sense of duty for the United States. We feel proud every time we pledge allegiance to our flag, or sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Independence Day is also a day of reflection. It is a time to reflect on what these freedoms mean to us, and how we are able to experience all that our nation has to offer.

It is because of our troops that we are able to salute our flag. It is because of our troops that we are able to appreciate Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And it is because of our troops that we are able to experience and talk about the American Dream.

As Maine’s First Lady, my top priority has been serving our military service members in uniform, and their families.

I am proud to say that Maine has a very rich military heritage. We realize that supporting our troops is more than shoveling a walkway or bringing over a warm meal. We don’t do it because it is “nice” or makes us “feel good.” We do it because we recognize that these men and women have put their lives on the line to protect us here at home.

Karen and Morrill Worcester have it right: their message is simple but so powerful; remember the fallen, honor those that serve and their families, and teach our children the value of freedom. We must remember that by helping one veteran, we are paying tribute to all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Governor and I are forever indebted to these courageous individuals, and we thank you for your service.

So whatever your Fourth of July consists of – please take a moment to reflect on all the things that make this State, and this Nation, the wonderful place that it is.

God Bless America, and have a safe and happy fourth!

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