Now nearly synonymous with parades, fireworks and picnics accented with red, white and blue décor, Independence Day has evolved from a formal declaration of freedom from tyranny in 1776. Even so, July 4 commemorates the catalyst that turned colonies into a nation and farmers into soldiers. Through violent battles and long winters, our country was forged by men and women who chose independence as soldiers, spies and sailors. These individuals fought for the ability to create an idea – where people could be free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
This ideal has carried on through Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and veterans across our great nation as we continue to stand for freedom on our own soil and abroad. In West Virginia, this legacy of service is apparent, with veterans comprising nearly 11 percent of our population – well above the national average.
Americans have kept that spirit of independence, democracy, and freedom in the nearly 250 years that separate this Independence Day from our original. As a country, we continue to strive to meet the promise of our nation.
The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance wishes all West Virginians a happy, healthy Independence Day.
If you or a loved one are a West Virginia Veteran, the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance is here for you. Contact the service office nearest you for free assistance when applying for state or federal veteran benefits.