MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement today in commemoration of Independence Day on July 4th:

“On this Fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of our country—the great American experiment in Democracy that began in 1776, when our founding fathers adopted the principles penned in the Declaration of Independence. Those principles became the bedrock of our democracy, a roadmap of America’s purpose, and the foundation for a new way of governing.

“From the battles in Lexington and Concord … to Gettysburg … to Normandy … to Kandahar and Baghdad—Americans have fought and gave what Lincoln called: ‘the last full measure of devotion’ for our unalienable rights. These rights—and our constant drive to do better—are what defines our country’s democracy.

“One example of those democratic improvements was celebrated just this year, 100 years since Congress passed the 19th Amendment and women secured the right to vote. During the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, the city stretched its Fourth of July celebration across four days. But suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony had other ideas to commemorate the day. After the Declaration of Independence was read to the crowd and the band began playing our anthem, she and several of her women colleagues rose up to protest that women didn’t have the right to vote. And today, after she secured that right as those suffragettes did years ago, we finally have more women serving in Congress than ever before. That’s progress. And that’s the story of America.

“After all, America’s founding principle is that we can always do better, an idea enshrined in the first lines of our Constitution which says: ‘We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…’

“Since the first Fourth of July, when our country declared its independence and a new American motto emerged— ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ or ‘From Many, One’—America, that shining city on a hill, has moved forward as beacon of hope and equality, illuminating the path of freedom for all who seek it.

“The Fourth of July is a day that brings us together, a time to celebrate America with friends and families. And it is a time to remember that American’s diversity of people and beliefs, our principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our ongoing desire to create a more perfect union have always made us stronger.

“Happy Fourth of July.”