This year, Independence Day comes at a time of great crisis and unrest for our country. But while the events of our day are troubling, remember that our nation was first born out of and found its footing in crisis. Throughout our great history spanning nearly 245 years, Americans have continually overcome even the most difficult challenges. That’s because Americans always rise to the occasion, proving our nation’s great strength. Certainly, that enduring strength and unbeatable resilience is alive as we navigate this season of crisis as well.

While the battle against coronavirus is far from over, it is encouraging to see the economy beginning to bounce back and Americans safely getting back to work. Moreover, rapid progress continues in development of effective therapeutics and discovery of a vaccine. And though any life lost to COVID-19 is too many, the declining death rate should lend hope that we’re getting better at treating the disease – as scientists and researchers race to find a life-saving vaccine.

In addition to the coronavirus crisis, the nation is also facing a difficult reckoning related to racial injustice following the tragic death of George Floyd. This has rightly spurred on an important dialogue and caused an outcry for change echoing far and wide. While there are differences in opinion on the needed solutions, it’s worth recognizing the goal is the same – and that is to make our communities safer for all, regardless of color or creed. While I am disappointed that we haven’t made much bipartisan progress on this issue yet, I am encouraged that serious legislative proposals have been put forward in both chambers of Congress. Moreover, President Trump issued an executive order to encourage meaningful policing reforms.

As we confront the difficulties and seek to reconcile divisions before us, remember that there is far more that unites us than divides us. On the Fourth of July, as we celebrate our precious freedoms secured at a great price, may we also remember the lasting legacy of our inherited American strength. For even amid the direst circumstances, we still live in the greatest and most resilient nation on earth.