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Where is the American soul? How did we become this divided? Has America lost its soul? Did we become too focused on self and individual liberties that we have forgotten how far we have come? Forgotten what we fought for and what is ours to cherish as a nation? Freedom.

The United States is the greatest cultural, political and economic power in this world. Why? Because we fought for it.

But America is in trouble — we are in a war with one another, battling for the soul of this great nation. The battle is ridden with ‘me-first’ attitudes, an attitude that will never win.

Our education system has become greedy with authority over the minds of our children, rewriting history, redefining biology, even changing the meaning and origin of English words.

He, him, her, she, they, them … what happened to we? We are who I fought for. United we stand, divided we fall.

We are losing our ability to critically think, provide solutions, and be inventors. Today’s generation needs to wake up!

It is well past time to shake off the glazed-over stares into a screen and take out the headphones, have conversations with eye contact, and listen. Engage in the beautiful tapestry of our differences with respect, take advice from the older and wiser who have seen, fought, and learned the hard way.

There was a day when Americans were respected, because we first respected each other. Now, we fear sharing our own beliefs and convictions because of the utter disrespect of a culture that cancels each other.

Just like there are no atheists in the fox hole, as the saying goes, there are no Republicans or Democrats on the battlefield — there is only we. There are simply brothers and sisters who protect, defend and fight together.

We didn’t charge the battlefield to defend division. We charged the battlefield to defend freedom.

We, as Americans, must find our soul and get back to the collective fight we share — for freedom. We must remind ourselves daily of those who fought for our freedom, and show them the respect they deserve by respecting each other. Show the world that it’s not about some political party.

It’s about our inalienable rights to live as a free people.

It’s about keeping government from becoming our first obstacle.

It’s about the people that love this country more than they love themselves.

May we return to what unites us this 4th of July, what we stand for — liberty, justice for all, honor and respect for those who battled and sacrificed for the soul of this great nation. Freedom.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Frank Hoagland is a Republican Ohio state senator and retired Navy SEAL from Jefferson County. He represents Ohio’s 30th District.

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