Today, Americans celebrate their 236th year of independence from Great Britain, and over two centuries of national resilience. Hamburgers will be eaten, cold beers shall be drunk, and fireworks will fly. But not everyone will be able to enjoy the festivities. In Colorado, for example, a punishing drought followed by wildfires have driven people from their homes, and caused enormous devastation (this has led to sensible laws restricting open burning, and private firework use). In Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, Ohio and Illinois, a heat wave combined with a severe storm have left millions sweltering in their homes without power, and as of yesterday, had led to at least 26 deaths.
In this context, our first thoughts are with all those who do not have the luxury to enjoy the day’s celebrations to their fullest, and who have experienced loss of life and security.
Our second thoughts dwell on the country’s future. In the face of an uncertain climate, we wish the United States continued years of resilience and prosperity, innovation and adaptation in the face of rapid change, and leadership on the global stage. In the past, the United States has been able to adapt to changing circumstances with energy and optimism, and to assist the world in doing the same. There is no good reason why that cannot be the case for at least another 236 years.