This Independence Day, remember what unites us


On the Fourth of July, our nation celebrates its independence with fireworks, barbecues and parades. It’s a day when friends, families, and neighbors come together to honor the birth of the nation. Amid the festivities, it’s crucial to reflect on what truly unites us as Americans, especially during these times of significant challenges that affect us all.

The United States has always been a beacon of hope, drawing people from around the world seeking freedom and opportunity. This blend of cultures and backgrounds enriches our nation, propelling unparalleled innovation and progress in numerous aspects of our society. For my family, coming from Haiti to the U.S. was a journey marked by hope and determination, a testament to the promise of the American dream. Here every individual has the chance to forge a better life for themselves and their children through hard work and perseverance, contributing to our collective prosperity and embodying the enduring spirit that makes America exceptional.

As we celebrate Independence Day, let us not only reflect on our past, but also look to our present and future. We must honor and thank our servicemen and women who courageously defend our freedoms, both at home and abroad. Their sacrifices ensure that we continue to live in a land where liberty and justice prevail. Their dedication reminds us that the fight for freedom is ongoing and requires our unwavering support and gratitude.

Francis Scott Key’s vision of the flag waving proudly through the “perilous fight” of the War of 1812 remains a powerful symbol of American resilience. As he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, Key’s words, penned in the “Star-Spangled Banner,” captured the indomitable spirit of a nation persevering through adversity. Even through tumultuous times, the flag stood as a steadfast reminder of our nation’s enduring values of freedom, justice, and unity. This message of resilience should guide us as we tackle the challenges of today and forge a better future moving forward.

In New York, the Empire State, where the motto “Excelsior” — Ever Upward — inspires us to keep striving to be an even greater state, Long Island stands as a testament to America’s promise. Nassau County, recognized as one of the nation’s first suburbs, embodies vibrant communities teeming with life. From Nassau to the tranquil coastlines of Suffolk County, our region showcases natural beauty, innovation and a commitment to progress.

Long Island’s diverse landscapes, bustling neighborhoods and economic vitality reflect resilience and a determination to build a prosperous future. Our cultural richness, renowned educational institutions and entrepreneurial spirit highlight a blend of tradition and modernity, shaping the Island’s identity in the state and nation.
We have built so much, and there’s no reversing this progress. The late Sen. John McCain once said, “We have never been a country that would rather go back than forward. We are the world’s leaders, and leaders don’t fear change, hide from challenges, pine for the past, or dread the future. We make the future better than the past.”

Now, in these challenging times, the fabric of the American spirit is being tested once again. Economic uncertainties, social inequalities and political divisions create new obstacles that demand our collective resolve. We must draw inspiration from our history of overcoming adversity and reaffirm our commitment to the principles that bind us together as a nation.

As a community and as a nation, we have faced great challenges and have always emerged stronger. This resilience lies at the heart of the American spirit. So as we come together this Fourth of July, let’s remember what unites us as Americans, and recommit ourselves to building a more inclusive, tolerant and understanding society.
Happy Independence Day!

Michaelle Solages represents the 22nd Assembly Distric, and chairs the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus.