Senator Mark Norris
9A Legislative Plaza,
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0232
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©2014 Mark Norris
July 3, 2014
Happy Independence Day!
As we approach July 4th and celebrate the birth of our nation 238 years ago, we celebrate the economic freedom which flows from a quality education and a good job. It has been said that education means economic development. Altogether, it means economic freedom and the independence we hold dear.
I have just completed an “Independence Day Tour” celebrating economic freedom. I traveled from our Nation’s Capital to towns across Tennessee. (For more on my Independence Day Tour, visit my website, www.marknorris.org, and Senator Mark Norris on Facebook. As Chairman of the national Council of State Governments, my initiative, State Pathways to Prosperity, focuses on workforce development and education. That’s what we are focused on here in Tennessee, too.
The journey began as I placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on behalf of the citizens of every state who are grateful for the sacrifices made by so many men and women to keep our nation free.
I spent the following week crossing Tennessee, speaking at patriotic breakfasts, workforce investment meetings, educational conferences and neighborhood gatherings celebrating our independence.
This included a special visit to the Memphis VA Hospital to say “thanks” to our service men and women there, and a community outreach event I organized at Agricenter International to pack food for distribution through the Mid-South Food Bank. We packed over 20,000 meals in less than 90 minutes!
This Fourth of July, I am encouraged by what’s happening in Tennessee. As we begin celebrating the 238th Anniversary of our Nation’s birth, let’s all celebrate the re-birth of American Manufacturing and its role in securing the individual independence which flows from economic freedom. Let’s support efforts to educate and train workers for 21st Century jobs. Tennessee is number one in economic development for many reasons, and we all need to stay focused on what it takes to stay ahead of the competition.
And now, let’s celebrate! John Adams got it right:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Happy Fourth of July!