The celebration of Independence Day is a perfect time to reflect on our country's long history of standing together to accomplish great things, including forming a new nation.
Going back to the American Revolution, where 13 colonies banded together to break free from the tyranny of the British Empire, we see that insurmountable odds can be overcome. The Fourth of July forever serves as a reminder of the adopting of our declaring of independence, detailing the grievances that would no longer be accepted and paving our road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
While the 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence knowing it was a treasonous act against the crown, meaning they could be executed for it, they signed it anyway.
John Adams, the first vice president and the second president of the United States, was one the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. He wrote to his wife, Abigail: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." He was right. Our country's shining example lives on. Blessed are we to have this outstanding achievement in our history to draw upon and inspire us.
This summer we have seen many other examples of what can get done when the community comes together. Small businesses that previously may have viewed themselves as competitors unified to stop Senate Bill 2424. We witnessed participants of the Mayor's Gala generously contribute to help an amazing family in need. And, we saw more than 100 businesses from across the island dig deep and contribute to this year's annual Fourth of July fireworks in Lahaina event to ensure that it lived on for our residents and guests to enjoy. It truly was a glorious day that touched many hearts.
Inspiration is abundant and we must keep the momentum going as our work is not done. The primary election is upon us. It will be held on Aug. 11, and we need to increase the numbers of those who vote. Voters have until Thursday to register to vote in the primary election and until Oct. 8 to register to vote in the general election on Nov. 6.
Therefore, we ask you to please keep encouraging those who have not yet registered to do so. This is too important an election to allow a small few to choose who will represent us all. It begins by getting people out, so let's work together to ensure all eligible voters exercise their right to vote - a freedom that many risked their lives for. Together, we can turn the low election turnout numbers upside down.
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.