A Letter from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

Like many of our fellow New Jerseyans, we gather on Independence Day to enjoy home and hotdogs, burgers and barbecue, and family and fireworks. As we reflect on the meaning of our Independence Day, we recognize our incredible fortune that a revolutionary generation of Americans, led by General George Washington, were willing to take up arms, risk their lives, and fight for our freedom. We recognize how fortunate we are that an incredible group of men and women in military uniform carry on this honored tradition and sacrifice for us every day to ensure the freedoms and liberties we all hold so dear. And we also recognize the patriots and heroes who gave their last full measure of devotion in the darkness of war, so we can enjoy the glory of summer.

On July 4th, I was honored to participate in flag raising ceremonies in Ridgewood and Normandy Beach. These ceremonies demonstrate how much our flag serves as a source of inspiration and strength to all New Jerseyans, especially as we recall the six United States Marines raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin placing the Stars and Stripes on the moon, and our firefighters elevating Old Glory above Ground Zero following the attacks of September 11. Whether in Ridgewood or Normandy Beach, in town squares or memorial grounds, New Jerseyans proudly stand and salute, and pause for a brief moment to give thanks for all we have because of the price that has been paid.

As we celebrate the centennial of America’s entry into WWI this year, and New Jersey’s role, let us recall the words of President Woodrow Wilson who said just weeks before the onset of the Great War, “My dream is that as the years go on and the world knows more and more of America it will also drink at these fountains of youth and renewal; that it also will turn to America for those moral inspirations which lie at the basis of all freedom; that the world will never fear America unless it feels that it is engaged in some enterprise which is inconsistent with the rights of humanity; and that America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity.” Let us find our own youth and renewal in these words, and never lose sight of the meaning of our Independence, and the generations of Americans that have defended the inalienable rights defined in words beginning “We the People.”

Kim Guadagno
Lt. Governor

The LG with Veterans at the Normandy Flag Raising on July 4th, 2017

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