July 4, 1776 seems a long time ago to us in 2023, but in the span of time, it has been but a minute since those brave delegates signed their names to our Declaration of Independence. It is my hope that as we all celebrate this day with parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks we do not forget the meaning of what the day means. Becoming a free and independent nation was a big and risky gamble that our forefathers made, challenging the most powerful nation at that time. Their courageous gamble paid off and we are living that free life today thanks to their tenacious efforts against what seemed unsurmountable odds. Here in Fredericksburg, we will celebrate with an old-fashioned small-town parade complete with floats, flags, bands, horses, antique tractors, and fair queens waving to the crowds. Happy Independence Day, America!