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Your Connected Fourth of July

This July 4, a multitude of people will hit the highways, take a plane ride, hop on a boat, or take a train to connect with others to celebrate the biggest birthday of them allours!

More than 45 million people will travel at least 50 miles, creating travel nightmares that no amount of BBQ can justify. 68% of all fireworks injuries will occur on this day as some (or most) of the more than $300 million spent on fireworks will be deployed. Beer and wine consumption will hit new Independence Day highs. And more than $6.9b will be spent on food, with more than $43m, yes, millions, just on BBQ sauce.

But What Does It Really Mean?

So, we travel and gorge ourselves, but, more to the point, we recognize the path of our nation, the potential of our nation. We pay homage to all that have come before us. We acknowledge our heroes, those providing independence to our country and its citizens. We try to understand how we got here and how it is that most of the world wants to emulate us.

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We are a connected countryconnected by our common dreams, expectations, opportunities. But we are not perfect. As William Gibson once famously said, The future is already here it's just not evenly distributed. But that, too, will change. And the motivator of change will be technology. Not the dark, ominous type found on the dark web, but rather technology that will let us see greater light, redistributing all that is great in America to all who live in America (OK, and the rest of the world, too). But it will take smarts, and money, and compassion, and empathy, and know-how, and drive, and desire. In America, we have all these in abundance. That is what we should remember on this birthday of ours. Our nations strength lies not in its influence, nor in its power and weaponry. No, our strength comes from us, We the People. Never forget that. And on this Fourth of July, lets celebrate that.

My favorite thing about the United States? Lots of Americans, one America.

Val Saintsbury

The entire Aeris family hopes you have a safe and wonderful July 4th!

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