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Independence not taken lightly

Independence Day is upon us. As people nationwide celebrate the country's founding, let it be safe, peaceful, relaxing and fun.

The patriotic holiday celebrates the nation's 242nd anniversary of its declaration of independence from Great Britain.

The U.S. Constitution followed in 1787 and the Bill of Rights in 1791, providing a structure for a democratic republic. This government of checks and balances would become the shining light of freedom for oppressed peoples around the world.

Last year, The Jamestown Sun's editorial on the Fourth of July holiday recognized the divisiveness in our country, and the fact that this country's founding was about independence and the right to disagree. Fast forward to 2018 and little has changed as this year's Fourth of July holiday nears. Division continues in politics, division that is at times vitriolic.

Just weeks ago, North Dakota had its primary election, and only 20 percent voted. How fortunate we are to be able to choose our leaders, to vote, to have our say. How unfortunate that we take that for granted.

There are countries around the world where freedom as we know it does not exist, elections are shams and human rights are absent.

The U.S., despite its divisions, remains a shining light for freedom, choices and independence.

Today, celebrate independence and patriotism. Have a safe Independence Day.