As we prepare to honor America for the 241st time since its iconic inception – those brave souls who fought for liberty and those servicemen and women who continue to selflessly sacrifice for our freedoms today – it’s equally important to recognize the unsung heroes who tirelessly contribute towards a better tomorrow: the proud parents, devoted single mothers and fathers, emergency responders, educators, social workers, engineers, researchers, mechanics, construction workers, truckers, farmers, cooks, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, janitors, volunteers…and yes, those unwillingly unemployed, ill, injured or handicapped patriots who love their country but are struggling to live the American dream. Without everyone’s efforts and unique attributes, America would not survive as it was intended: a beacon of hope and opportunity for people from all proverbial walks of life. Regardless of our race, gender, sexuality, ideological beliefs or economic disposition, there is literally nothing we cannot achieve or overcome when hard work and accountability serve as virtue’s transcendent light. For it is not our disagreements that ultimately define us, but our humanity and compassion; how we bridge our inevitable differences through constructive discourse and a mutual respect to heal our wounds, join our hands, and collectively reach heights previously thought unattainable. Although I have family, friends and associates with vastly varying beliefs and lifestyles, I am grateful for their existence and religiously pray for their success, happiness and well-being. Without the beauty of diversity, the fertile tree of liberty and the non-negotiable necessity of tolerance, America, but more profoundly civility, would cease to exist. Despite the discord incited by those misguided malcontents who will incessantly seek to divide mankind, we are all brothers and sisters, guardians and God’s children. May America continue to harbor the poor and the persecuted, the aspiring and the afflicted, and may God forever bless all of you.