I don’t know what the July fourth means to you. Growing up, to me, “the fourth” meant baseball, picnics and fireworks. Friends and family gatherings. And, of course, our nation’s birthday. A red, white and blue reminder that we were fortunate to live in the good, ol’ US of A – the birthplace of democracy and freedom. I still get a thrill out of a beautiful burst of color against a dark sky as fireworks wrap up the day, marking the beginning of another summer season, and reminding us of how lucky we are.

But as I read my daily paper the other day, I realized that my annual celebration was misguided. Rather than celebrating, we should be marking our nation’s birthday with a vigorous discussion and renewed commitment to finally actualize the dream our founding fathers promised – a more perfect union. Not a land of broken promises.  Let’s not allow our love of country obscure the facts. We live in a divided nation – it is time to bring us together.

I want to do my part. I look forward to following the A More Perfect Union Project. I am going to discuss inequality with my friends and colleagues. I am going to be intentional about creating change. I am going to visit the Museum of the American Revolution here in Philadelphia to absorb the truth about our past and ongoing fight for freedom. I hope you will join me in making this the year of discovery and discussion, so that when our nation turns 250 in just a few short years, we will really have something to celebrate.