Hi All:


I want to take a moment and wish the members of our South Huntington family a very happy and healthy 4th of July. While the weekend ahead will certainly be filled with well-deserved BBQs and picnics, the day itself represents so much more to our nation's people. The truth is that Independence Day is a distinctly American phenomenon that binds our great nation and reaffirms our commitment to democratic values. The July 4th holiday has special meaning because it transcends racial, ethnic, and religious lines and galvanizes our people throughout the generations.

Although there are those who might argue that the spirited, often contentious, discourse that characterizes our nation's politics is a sign of failure, the reality is that this robust debate is quite simply a sign of democracy in action. The proud patriots who risked freedom and fortune in Philadelphia in 1776 envisioned a nation rich with diverse opinions and passionate positions. Similarly, the brave souls who shed their blood in the fields, skies, oceans, deserts, jungles, and beaches of distant lands, did so in the hopes of preserving our freedom for healthy discourse. The robust debate that often consumes our political system is not a sign of the nation's failure, but instead an affirmation that this grand experiment called the United States is in fact a brilliant, complex work in progress. The "perfect union" envisioned by our nation's framers is not necessarily a destination, but a lofty ideal worthy of our continued participation and sacrifice.

So as we turn on the grills this weekend and enjoy the wonderful family time, let us also pause and give thanks for the good fortune we enjoy. We are privileged to live in a great nation and a beautiful community.  Our diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and pursuits is a blessing that few countries enjoy, and we will most certainly continue our progress towards a grand, national ideal.


Have a happy 4th of July.

Be well,

Dave Bennardo