Jay Bowen, Commander, The American Legion, Department of Colorado

Jay Bowen, Commander, The American Legion, Department of Colorado

Good morning Legion family,

As we approach this Independence Day weekend, I ask that you take time out from the revelry and reflect on what this almost sacred holiday means to all Americans. 240 years ago, a group of 56 very prominent men from all 13 colonies put their signature to a document declaring a new Nation, breaking away from Great Britain. They ratified this Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, knowing full well it would push our fledgling country into war with the most powerful country in the world at that time. They also knew their signature identified them as radicals and leaders of the great revolution, which meant they would be targeted by the British and harshly punished for treason. Punishment would likely mean loss of all lands and assets, as well as quite possibly loss of their life. Knowing all of that, they signed the Declaration of Independence and a new Nation was born.

Many of us take for granted the impact of what happened and we go along our merry way enjoying the many benefits fought by millions during the Revolutionary War and all the wars which followed to gain and maintain that freedom. Today, and as a direct result of that stand taken on July the 4th, we are the most powerful and envied country in the world. That has happened only because we are willing to fight and die for our belief in the words from that Declaration so many years ago. Probably the most famous line from the Declaration captures the entire essence of the document and states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I wish you all a very happy and safe Independence Day weekend. Enjoy the hard-fought freedom and liberties that you helped secure as a result of your faithful service to our country. You are the direct descendants of those radicals who understood that liberty and freedom are not free and only those willing to fight and serve can guarantee its sustainability. I salute you all and am proud to serve you.


For God and Country,

Jay Bowen, Commander

The American Legion, Department of Colorado