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“Highlights with Hegeman” for the Week of June 27: Celebrating Our Independence

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays because of the history it represents. The 4th of July is more than just a day off work; it is a celebration of our nation’s fight against tyranny and our continued commitment to providing justice and liberty for all. Though today we still have plenty of issues to face and obstacles to overcome, we can be thankful our system of a constitutional government, established by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago, stands strong against the test of time.

In the late 1700s, the 13 American colonies were faced with a tough decision. Though they were an official part of the British Empire, they had no right to vote for members of Parliament, the body that controlled their laws and taxes. Under British rule, they had no freedom, but declaring independence would be incredibly costly. Our Founding Fathers knew many soldiers would die in the war to come, and they themselves risked execution for treason if the colonies lost. But the opportunity of building a new nation — one, as President Abraham Lincoln put it, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” — was too wonderful to ignore.

Ultimately, the colonists chose to do what was right rather than what was easy, rising against their British rulers to establish a free nation for future generations. Without their bravery, the United States could never have become what it is today: living proof that democracy is a viable system of government able to preserve the liberty of its citizens through political accountability, what President Ronald Reagan called “a city on a hill” for the world to admire and emulate.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.