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America will always be the Land of Opportunity

It’s Fourth of July weekend in America, which means it’s one of the best weekends of the year. Fireworks. Cookouts. Beach trips. Late summer evenings with friends and family that you’ll remember forever and never want to end.

It’s one of the three major summer holidays, and the one where we’re really allowed to let our hair down and have fun. Memorial Day has a more somber and respectful tone these days, as we reflect on those who sacrificed for our country. Labor Day has an inherent sadness as the unofficial end of summer.

But on Independence Day, the party is in full swing. Especially when it happens to fall on a Thursday, Friday or Monday — like this year — thus lending itself to a long weekend, it’s a time filled with opportunities for adventure.

And that, of course, is what this holiday is really about. It’s a celebration of our country’s birth, yes, but the driving force behind its founding was opportunity. The desire to seize control of your own life and drive your own destiny.

Most of us will settle into a role in life in accordance with our talents. But as long as you’re willing to work and learn, the United States will allow you to pursue whatever goals and dreams you have.

Want to be a mechanic? You have the freedom to do it.

Want to be a professional athlete? You can work your butt off and go as far as your talent will take you.

Want to be president? It’s a hard job to get but there is a path to do it.

A lot of modern political thinkers would have you believe that the lot in life you’re born with is the one you’re stuck with forever. That if you’re not born on third base you can never get home.

That’s absolute nonsense.

There are too many examples of people who have risen up from nothing, in all walks of life, to achieve greatness. What all of them have in common is they’ve worked hard to seize the opportunities in front of them, one after another, until they climbed the ladder to the top. And what the United States is, is one endless string of opportunities.

Some of us rise and fall more easily than others. Many of us will fail before we succeed. The great thing about this country is that we have the opportunity to do all of those things and still find our way.

I love this country. I would never want to be from somewhere else.

Whatever you do this Independence Day weekend, seize the big and small opportunities in your life. Seize the freedom we’ve all been given.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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