On Independence Day, we celebrate our nation's founding. From coast to coast, we remember how our founders boldly proclaimed their independence and established a democracy despite facing seemingly impossible barriers. They laid down a set of guiding principles that distinguished us from the rest of the world. The United States was established on the idea that the government derives its power from the people, that all people are to be treated equally under the law, with equal opportunity to reach their own potential. We have not always met those ideals throughout our young nation's history, but we continue to make progress toward fulfilling our nation's promise.
Over the last year, we have lived through a global pandemic that shut down our economy and forced us all to change our daily habits. We have had civil protests that forced our nation to confront systemic racial inequality that causes us to fall short of our nation's ideals. We have lived through a period of the most strident political unrest that led to the first assault on our nation’s Capitol Building since the War of 1812. But in the wake of these challenges, as our nation has done in the past, we are poised to emerge stronger than ever before.
As we come out of this pandemic, with restrictions lifted and vaccine rates rising, the idea of freedom seems even more relevant and meaningful than in past years. We are once again free to see our loved ones and enjoy ourselves in public settings without the overwhelming burden of fear. COVID-19 showed us that we are a resilient country willing to stand together and make sacrifices to help others. That vision of empathy and unity is inherent in our founding, and one we must all strive to ensure is alive and well in the United States today.
One way to participate in celebrating our nation's independence this year is by joining the Patchogue Lions Club on Sunday, July 4, at 1 p.m. at the Four Corners in Patchogue Village for a service in commemoration of the holiday. In years past, this Lions Club coordinated and held a Fourth of July parade on Main Street in Patchogue to commemorate the holiday. To stem any potential for COVID infections, the club has opted to hold this ceremony for the second year in a row.
Another event you can enjoy this holiday weekend is the 63rd annual Artists on the Lane fine art festival in the heart of Bellport Village. Artists on the Lane boasts an eclectic collection of work done by local artists like ceramics, paintings, glassworks, jewelry, pottery, photography, and so much more. The pieces are all original and presented by the exhibitor. This event will occur on Sunday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a Saturday, July 10 rain date. The event is free and open to the public on Bellport Lane from Bell to Hulse streets.
However you choose to honor Independence Day this year, please exercise good judgment and be mindful that everyone has adjusted to life after COVID. This is the first holiday that we can all genuinely gather, celebrate, and enjoy all the splendors of the summer season. Enjoy your time with loved ones, and never forget the struggles and the losses that have led to this joyful occasion. Happy Fourth of July!