Five Years From Today: Happy 250th Birthday, America!
Five years from today, the United States will turn 250 years old. But will it be a time of celebration or a time of condemnation? Today there are those attempting to convince us July 4, 1776 was a curse, not a blessing. That the Founding Fathers are to be torn down, not held up. Will their efforts succeed?
How will July 4, 2026 commemorated by this Nation? Which path will we take these next five years?
Today we imagine arriving at the end of those two diverging paths. Two columns, dated July 4, 2026. But two entirely different realities.
Here, a celebration:
Rep. Louisa Ruiz-Lee is a first-term Congresswoman from Texas, elected in November, 2024.
Today the United States is celebrating its Semiquincentennial! Let me put it in plain English, Happy 250th Birthday, America!
As I type these words on the front steps of the People’s House, the sun is rising behind the U.S. Capitol. Crews are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the grandstand that will house the National Symphony and some of America’s greatest artists for the patriotic celebration of our lifetimes.
Before me on the National Mall, families are already staking claim to spots of grass, not wanting to miss a fireworks display for the Ages. Not wanting to miss this. The 250th anniversary of the Birth of the United States of America. Some have been here for days.
“We Hold These Truths … ”
In the distance, the Washington Monument rises. Hidden off to my left is the Jefferson Memorial.
It is hard to believe that a few short years ago, leaders in this very capital were happy to watch the names of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson desecrated. To remain silent as anti-American anarchists tore down statues of our Founding Fathers, screaming about their racism, selling the slander that this nation was created, not in the pursuit of liberty, but in order to keep the black race enslaved.
I hate to speak so harshly on this historic day of joy and jubilation, but these communists and con artists were throwing rocks down on our Founders from the mountain those Founders built!
That mountain: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Rather than protect slavery, those words spelled the doom of slavery. In less than 90 years, this nation did away with a practice that had plagued mankind for thousands of years. Show me the nation that has that ribbon on their chest. Show me the nation that welcomed those of all races and creeds drawn by the promise of freedom and self-determination, creating a “harmony of ingredients” that went on to entice the world to the flavor of freedom.
And please, show me the nation where the daughter of parents who came to this country with nothing, could build a multi-million dollar business then be elected by her fellow citizens to be their voice in national government.
I am a United States congresswoman!
A female, a child of immigrants, a child of poverty, an average person born with no link to power or privilege, who now helps write and pass the laws that govern this great, great land. A servant of the people.
And how? Because 250 years ago, a group of men declared that rights come from God, not government or kings; that power derives from the consent of the people, not the whims of the state. Because 250 years ago today, a new nation was born that echoed scripture and declared to the four corners of the globe that all are created equal.
Created Equal by God, Equal in This Nation
Over to my right, at the National Archives, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution await awed visitors from the world. They get it, even if so many here didn’t. We were told during the season of insanity that the Archives itself was racist because when you looked around at the Founders women and people of color could not see themselves.
I cannot imagine a more myopic bit of nonsense. The whole point of their endeavor was we are all equal in the eyes of God. Those citizens in 1776 were the first in history of the world to make that the foundation of a country. Did it apply at first to everyone in practice? No. (It’s amazing how the same people who have no use for God, curse the Founders for not being perfect gods.) That’s why the Constitution speaks of “building a more perfect Union.”
At the Lincoln Memorial, which I can barely make out past the Washington Monument in the morning haze, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called the Declaration we celebrate today a “promissory note.” And yeah, perhaps every last penny of that promissory note hasn’t been paid to every last person to which it is owed. But it has been paid, here and across the globe, to a degree nobody could have imagined when those 56 brave citizens pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
God help those who live seeing the glass 1% empty. I grieve that they cannot see this day with great joy.
The National Celebration
Somewhere right now, be it across the river in Virginia or across the country in California there is a little girl waking up this morning. A little girl just like I was. Soon she’ll be racing down to her town center. Perhaps she’s going to be a majorette in her town’s Independence Day parade. Perhaps she’ll be a little cowgirl showing off her roping skills. Perhaps she’ll be cheering the passing bands and fire trucks.
One thing is for certain. She will not be a bystander. She is an American. Whether by birth or by naturalization, we are all participants. The great tragedy of the recent season was how many were conned into believing they were not participants in America, but factions fenced off from the privileged. We all have a role in the American parade. That little girl has the power to determine her ultimate role or roles. Make the most of her pursuit of happiness. Regardless of race or station.
Tonight, that little girl, like millions upon millions upon millions of her fellow Americans will look up into a shared night sky, watching the greatest fireworks displays the world has ever known. A glorious cap to a birthday celebration of the greatest nation the world has ever known.
Millions of shells will be bursting from coast to coast, with blinding intensity and deafening sound. I’ll be sitting right here, with my family, my American family, watching the fireworks explode around the Washington Monument as the National Symphony plays “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Yet nothing will be brighter than the single candle of freedom. Nothing will be louder than the sound of liberty.
The light has burned 250 years, and echoed around the globe.
May the Stars and Stripes indeed wave forever.
For a more dystopian view of where America might be on its 250th birthday, see John Zmirak’s “Five Years from Today: President Harris’s AmeriKKKa.”