On July 4, Americans celebrate our country’s independence. Like many families in South Dakota, Independence Day is a special holiday that our family looks forward to each year.

For decades, we’ve spent the Fourth of July boating and camping on Lake Oahe, just north of Pierre. It’s a fun time for the big Rounds crew to get together with our kids and grandkids to celebrate America’s birthday. We cherish this special time together even more so this year, since Jean is currently undergoing treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic. We are grateful to be back from Rochester over the Fourth of July holiday to spend this time together.

Of course, the reason that any of us are able to enjoy Independence Day is because of the men and women who have fought — and continue to fight — for our freedoms. It is through their sacrifices that we remain the strongest, freest country in the world. The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time to honor those who have sacrificed so much in defense of our liberties.

In the Senate, I work with my colleagues to advance policies that continue to make the United States the greatest nation in the world. The Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act — or NDAA — a bipartisan bill we pass each year that supports the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. This important legislation makes sure our troops have everything they need to keep our country safe. President Trump has been a strong supporter of our military, and I look forward to continuing the decades-long tradition of sending the president a strong, bipartisan NDAA to sign into law again this year.

South Dakotans have a long history of supporting our military and our veterans. I’m proud to live in a state as patriotic as South Dakota. If you ask me, there’s no better place in the country to celebrate Independence Day than South Dakota. No matter where you go, communities across the state organize special festivities to celebrate our freedom and the service members who fight every day to preserve it.

If you’re already making plans for next year’s Fourth of July, be sure to add Mount Rushmore to your list. Thanks to President Trump and his administration, fireworks will once again be displayed over the national memorial for Fourth of July 2020. We haven’t had fireworks over Mount Rushmore since 2009, and if you haven’t had a chance to see them, I’d highly recommend visiting next year. It’s a truly spectacular sight.

No matter where or how you spend the holiday, Jean and I wish you a safe and happy Independence Day!

(5) comments

GBR SD

YOU COWARD! Not one word about the MILLIONS being spent on the Salute to Donald Trump Parade on July the Fourth (brought to you by the hard working Americans tax dollars). How dare you say celebrate with family and be safe while your boss is pulling your strings. SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING and quit being a coward simply because there is an R in front of your name!

Kate70

GBR , do a fact check before you make totally misleading statements which leave out the facts. According to Snopes the President will speak at a 4th of July celebration , which does include a parade, that has long been put on by the local govt. of Washington, DC. (If it is taxpayer funded, it is funded by that district only and has apparently been going on for years.) Here is a part of the article. You can look up the rest yourself. "On July 1, 2019, Trump announced that military tanks would be part of a celebration piggybacking on an already-existing annual July 4th of July Celebration put on by Washington, D.C.’s, local government, which includes fireworks, a music concert, as well as a parade in which uniformed members of the military participate. Trump is planning to speak at the event 2019 event, which is expected to include military flyovers. Protesters are also expected to attend the event. PUBLISHED 13 FEBRUARY 2019 BY BETHANIA PALMA FILED UNDER DONALD TRUMP Latest Fact Checks" So whatever you SAW to SAY SOMETHING about was either not true, left out pertinent facts, or you didn't read it correctly. And by the way, what IS the 4th of July for but to celebrate our Independence? And don't most of us typically do that every year with our family and friends?? Mr Rounds wished we all celebrate that with our families and be safe... how dare he??

GBR SD

Oh Kate, you really need to get your facts straight before you embarrass yourself. The Trump parade has NOTHING to do with any other events in DC, nothing! It is not connected to the usual celebrations, nor or any of them tied to HIS. This is strictly a show of one man's ego whose own generals don't even want to be in. He is "giving" away VIP seating to his big donors, you follow? This is a Trump rah rah rally to stroke his ego and his base (see Kate), and that is all! Have a safe 4th and share it with family unlike all those that have to work because one man wants to stand in front of his followers.

Kate70

I was quoting and gave you the site for the SNOPES fact check on the parade. I believe I mentioned that. How about actually checking THAT out instead of just believing what another Trump hater wrote someplace? Or do you have a credible source for your information? People are quick to use the Snopes fact check for everything.........unless it disagrees with what they "know".

Kate70

GBR, Hopefully you fully enjoyed the Parade for President Trump with "the MILLIONS being spent on the Salute to Donald Trump Parade on July the Fourth (brought to you by the hard working Americans tax dollars). " Your opinions or hearsay repeats are not often facts. When you state a "fact" you should be able to site source so that others can verify your statements. Just sayin' .

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