This year, Independence Day comes at a time of great crisis and unrest for our country. But while the events of our day are troubling, remember that our nation was first born out of and found its footing in crisis. Throughout our great history spanning nearly 245 years, Americans have continually overcome even the most difficult challenges.
Following the reprehensible treatment and tragic death of George Floyd, there has rightly been a national outcry against what took place both under the watch of and at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis – a clear and despicable violation of the solemn oath police officers take to serve and protect their fellow citizens.
After local and national economies were effectively forced to close in response to coronavirus this spring, communities across the nation are continuing to slowly and cautiously reopen. While it is encouraging to see businesses opening back up and Americans returning to work, it’s important to keep in mind that life as we know it is not yet back to normal.
June marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, which serves as a reminder of the need to slow down, prevent and ultimately cure terrible diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are suffering with some form of dementia, and it is estimated that one in every three seniors die as a result.
Americans tend to think that we’re either the best or the worst at everything. And while I agree that the United States hasn’t been the absolute best in the world in terms of coronavirus response, our nation has certainly fared better than most advanced countries and remains far from the worst in terms of dealing with COVID-19.
The United States recently surpassed more than 100,000 precious lives lost to COVID-19. As we sadly know all too well, along with the staggering human cost, this pandemic has disrupted every corner of American society and life as we know it – wrecking thriving economies, shuttering businesses, killing jobs and threatening livelihoods.
Throughout Military Appreciation Month, we have rightly joined in expressing gratitude for our service members, their families and their daily sacrifices on our behalf. In answering the call to serve, members of our military demonstrate incredible loyalty, and their sense of duty and patriotism is truly unmatched. Some will miss weddings, funerals or the births of their own children.
While the coronavirus crisis has caused unthinkable disruptions and challenges nationwide, this is not the first time in history that Congress has navigated extraordinary circumstances and still preserved the longstanding traditions imagined by our Founding Fathers.
As the school year comes to a close and graduation season begins, I am thinking of the many high school and college seniors who will be celebrating their achievements differently than they expected. Although the coronavirus crisis has canceled and postponed many traditional commencement ceremonies, that should not lessen the sense of great pride and joy felt by this year’s graduates.
Oklahomans are no strangers to severe weather and the terrible destruction that can result from it. Our past experiences serve as a sobering reminder that we must be ready at a moment’s notice to face tornadoes and other unpredictable weather patterns. In Oklahoma, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” that time will come.