Fourth of July is approaching and as I look at what this country has accomplished since its inception is nothing short of amazing.

Despite what some of the present day protesters/rioters would have you think, this is the greatest country ever in the history of the world.

We began as an agrarian society that was all about individual freedom to choose who you wanted to be, what you wanted to accomplish and where you wanted to live.

It wasn’t long until manufacturing began and we eventually led the world in manufacturing techniques and out-produced every country in the world because we had the individual freedom to innovate.

Our founding fathers could never have envisioned the height our cities would grow, the transportation choices we have every day, landing on the moon and returning and now planning to visit another planet.

Along the way through history, we have fought alongside and for other countries to secure their freedoms, losing hundreds of thousands of our men and women in the process.

The wars we fought weren’t for the purpose of conquering more lands, but were motivated by a desire to protect ourselves and others.

We have fought among ourselves to ensure our country remained as one and not splintering into multiple little countries.

Where would Europe be today without help from the United States to stop the “unstoppable” Nazi blitzkrieg machine or stopping the Japanese on their way to conquering China, Australia and the Pacific rim?

Our overwhelming manufacturing might and commitment to freedom propelled us forward during those times, at great cost in blood and treasure to the United States.

Today we are experiencing rioting and burning in our cities amid cries “we are fighting Fascism and Nazism.”

The sad and scary irony is that those protesters and rioters aren’t fighting Fascism of Nazism, they are duplicating the very tactics the Fascists and Nazis used against their countries years ago.

It has been 75 years since those battles ended World War II.

The comparisons are stark; 75 years ago our young men and women fought to secure freedom for others who weren’t able to secure their own.

Today, 75 years later, some young men and women want to “burn down the system” of the very country who preserves freedom and choice for all, endeavoring to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

Young men and women, 75 years ago, gave their lives to free others from tyranny and today they are willing to take lives to promote their ideology.

Seventy five years ago memorials and statues were raised to remember the sacrifices made for freedom.

Today some want to tear down or remove memorials and statues, due mostly to their ignorance of history and therefore believe our culture should be “cancelled.”

July 4th is a day we should hold dear and remember how and why the United States began.

This has not been a perfect country, no one claims that, but it is the best country ever in history of the world.

Our strength comes from our willingness to see our faults and correct them.

It is not, nor has it ever been, the answer to tear down the country and then rebuild it, but it has been our practice to build on our strengths and work on correcting our weaknesses.

As we celebrate July 4th, let’s celebrate living in the greatest country the world has ever known and having the freedom to change the things that need changing.

God has blessed us in more ways than we can count and my prayer is that He will continue to flow blessings to us and protect us.

Rick G. Thielen lives in Grove, Oklahoma and enjoys sharing observations and ruminations on life around him.