Since becoming mayor, my fondness for the Fourth of July has gone past simply enjoying fireworks and a gathering of friends and family. Sure, I still love spending the day with Dawn and my kids, but being elected mayor has really changed the way I see Independence Day.
Milton is a blessed community in a blessed country. We live in peace, making our decisions in public and affecting change through our votes. We enjoy prosperity and are able to choose the paths our lives take freely and without fear.
This democracy has lasted 234 years, and that's no small feat. From the White House to City Hall, every type of government in this country is filled with decision makers who are ultimately accountable to voters.
It's not perfect - nothing is - and we've gotten better at it through the years. I think we'll get better at it as time goes on. All it takes for Milton, and America, to remain strong are honest, hardworking people committed to the greater good - and a passionate citizenry, of course.
Having a day to celebrate our country really makes me think. It is an honor to provide Milton the means and ways to chart its own course, to decide for itself where and how the city will grow and prosper.
So if you feel as lucky as I do to live freely, make this Fourth of July a special one. Let your friends and neighbors know how much you appreciate them - without each one of us there would be no government of the people. Be proud of your country and your hometown - it took a lot of people working very hard to get us here.
And if you'd like to show your children how and why this country works, feel free to stop by City Hall any time to see your government in action. We're always glad to have you.
Happy Fourth of July, Milton!
Mayor Joe Lockwood