Celebrating America –

By U.S. MIKE ROUNDS R-South Dakota

“…the men and women who have fought—and continue to fight—for our freedoms”

On July 4, Americans celebrated our country’s independence. Like many families in South Dakota, Independence Day is a special holiday that our family looks forward to each year.

For decades, we’ve spent the Fourth of July boating and camping on Lake Oahe, just north of Pierre. It’s a fun time for the big Rounds crew to get together with our kids and grandkids to celebrate America’s birthday. We cherish this special time together even more so this year, since Jean is currently undergoing treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic. We are grateful to be back from Rochester over the Fourth of July holiday to spend this time together.

Of course, the reason that any of us are able to enjoy Independence Day is because of the men and women who have fought—and continue to fight—for our freedoms. It is through their sacrifices that we remain the strongest, freest country in the world. The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time to honor those who have sacrificed so much in defense of our liberties.

In the Senate, I work with my colleagues to advance policies that continue to make the United States the greatest nation in the world. The Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act—or NDAA—a bipartisan bill we pass each year that supports the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. This important legislation makes sure our troops have everything they need to keep our country safe. President Trump has been a strong supporter of our military, and I look forward to continuing the decades-long tradition of sending the president a strong, bipartisan NDAA to sign into law again this year.

If you’re already making plans for next year’s Fourth of July, be sure to add Mount Rushmore to your list. Thanks to President Trump and his administration, fireworks will once again be displayed over the national memorial for Fourth of July 2020. We haven’t had fireworks over Mount Rushmore since 2009, and if you haven’t had a chance to see them, I’d highly recommend visiting next year. It’s a truly spectacular sight.

No matter where or how you spend the holiday, Jean and I wish you a safe and happy Independence Day!

In 2015, Senator Marion Michael “Mike” Rounds was sworn into the United States Senate. He serves on four committees: Senate Armed Services; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Veterans’ Affairs; and Environment and Public Works.

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