Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, farmers, merchants, laborers, and soldiers celebrated a new nation – fixed in freedom and equality. They faced tough odds, but they were armed with the vibrant American spirit and rock solid patriotism that has carried our nation forward since its founding.

Two hundred and thirty seven years later, Ohioans across our state gather along parade routes and in public squares, in community centers and in veterans’ halls – to honor the people who fought for our nation’s freedom. As we celebrate our nation’s democracy, we must also take time to reflect on the sacrifice of those who make our independence possible today.

To all the women and men of our armed services, our veterans, and all our military families – we owe you our gratitude and thanks.

And to all of you enjoying today’s festivities, I wish you and your family a safe and healthy July 4th holiday. Thank you for all that you do for our great state and our great country.