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Smith Report 7.6.2017

Representing Missouri’s 8th Congressional District

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave Being an American makes me feel proud, fortunate and humbled all at the same time. Proud that our Founding Father’s vision became a reality. Fortunate because I was lucky enough to be born in this incredible, free nation and humbled by the blessing of serving our country in Congress.  We are a nation of humble beginnings. Colonies of England, bound to serve the King. But our Founding Fathers saw potential for more. The Continental Congress voted in favor of our independence from England on July 2, 1776.  Two days later, on July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies that sparked the great American experiment adopted the Declaration of Independence.   Every year, we celebrate our independence, and rightfully so as it was hard fought and won. Oh say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave – we cannot forget that there was a moment amid the clashing bayonets, exploding cannons, gun powder and smoke when we were not sure America would prevail. But we have never doubted our ability, strength and resilience as a nation since.  Even in some of our lowest, most difficult moments, America has stood together and stood strong. September 11, 2001 stands out to me as one of those moments. When I got the news, I was shocked and saddened, thinking to myself who would want to hurt a country as incredible as ours? Like many of you, I called to check in with friends and family that I had not spoken to in a while to make sure everyone was ok, and I hugged them all a little tighter the next time I saw them.   The attacks on September 11th broke many, many things – lives, homes, hopes and dreams for futures together – but it could not break our American spirit. In fact, it made us even more resolute in our beliefs. We banned together and came back even stronger and prouder of our country – ready to fight to defend our freedoms and our way of life. American flags were hung outside of nearly every home and we rebuilt the World Trade Center even taller than before. But there are smaller, different battles we wage every day as well. It’s a fight for Missourians’ way of life. Whether that’s making sure the government doesn’t try to regulate every drop of water on your land, or how you heat your homes in the winter or how you spend your paycheck, it’s a fight for what our Founding Fathers believed America could be. The land of the free.  We enjoy freedoms every day. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the freedom to bear arms. All because we prevailed in our fight for independence and have a military who continues to heroically defend our nation’s sovereignty. We have proved to be the home of the brave many times over in our nation’s short, 241-year history. From the Vietnam War to rallying in the face of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, defending humanity and defeating the Nazis, to the War on Terror that is still being valiantly fought today, Americans have faced adversity bravely and boldly. I am thankful for our freedom and the brilliance of our Founding Fathers who had a dream of what this piece of land that was colonized by England could become. On July 4th and every other day, I am so very proud to be an American.