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

“Today, Americans across the country come together to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, when our founding fathers created a blueprint for a new way of government that was by the people and for the people, a government instilled with the values of opportunity, fairness and freedom.

"These principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence lit a bright torch that made our nation a beacon of hope for countless people in search of a better life. We must never forget the incredible courage of those first Americans who were willing to give up their lives because of an unrelenting belief in an idea bigger than themselves.

“This Fourth of July, we especially honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to defending our freedom—soldiers like John O’Boyle of Bemidji, who fought bravely in Western Europe during World War II. This week I had the honor to present  to Private First Class O’Boyle the Legion of Honor Medal, which is the highest decoration that France can give to a foreign citizen.

“Private First Class O’Boyle’s story is one of an ordinary man here in Minnesota who, through his dedication to service, became an extraordinary hero and a symbol of our country’s Greatest Generation.

“His story is part of a long tradition in our state of Minnesotans answering the call to serve. One hundred fifty years ago this week, 250 Minnesotans held the line against 1,600 Confederate troops in the Battle of Gettysburg. We had only been a state for five years, but we were there on the front lines, fighting to make a more perfect union.

“Today, we see that same strength in our men and women in uniform, in our veterans and in all those who have honorably served our country. We see it in the willingness of the American people to come together in the face of great challenges and make our country stronger. Decency, resilience and determination have always been part of the American DNA and they are what continue to make our state and country great.

“Whether it is by the lake or at a parade, I hope everyone takes time this Independence Day to reflect on the great American spirit that was sparked in 1776 and endures today. I wish everyone a happy, safe and memorable Independence Day!”